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flu season

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is observing National Influenza Vaccination Week on Wednesday, Dec. 4 with free flu shots for residents.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu activity in Florida increased statewide last week and is now above last year's peak activity, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Experts say the number of flu cases could rise over the holidays as people share germs along with turkey dinners. A flu shot and good hygiene practices are crucial to staying healthy.

All three of the flu outbreaks that have been reported in Florida so far this season occurred in Hillsborough County, according to the state.

Florida health officials say a child is the first to die during this year's flu season.

Florida Blue has teamed up with Walgreens to offer free flu shots every Thursday in October from 10 a.m. until noon on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the flu shot.

But following a winter in which more than 80,000 people died from flu-related illnesses in the U.S. — the highest death toll in more than 40 years — infectious disease experts are ramping up efforts to get the word out.

80,000 People Died Of Flu Last Winter In U.S.

Sep 27, 2018

An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades.

This nasty flu season, which has been worsening for months, may finally be leveling off.

Florida Department of Health

While the flu is causing problems around the country, the number of students and teachers infected in Pinellas County has increased this year.   

Pensacola ER Nurse In Viral Video: 'Wash Your Stinking Hands'

Feb 5, 2018

A nurse's Facebook rant about the "cesspool of funky flu" in a Pensacola area emergency room waiting areas is getting a lot of attention.

A particularly bad flu virus is burning through Florida and health officials say people can still protect themselves—and others.

“Getting vaccinated can prevent flu in yourself, but it also may prevent flu in people who you are not infecting,” says Dr. Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist with the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Especially for young children or people who are at high risk of flu, it's very important that people around them are vaccinated.”

Central Florida is seeing a spike in flu cases. Florida Hospital’s urgent care Centra Care locations saw 1,200 cases last week.

Florida Department of Health

Health officials say the United States could have a harsher than usual flu season, and is already showing influenza activity above the national baseline for the first time this season.

This year, the flu season is expected to be among one of the worst to hit the United States.   

Influenza season is at its peak nationwide, and Florida is no exception. That's obvious on the map at the Centers for Disease Control website.

Florida health officials said it's been a mild flu season so far, unlike the last three seasons when doctor offices were filled with patients before Christmas and illnesses peaked by late December.