Have you been struggling with a nagging cough, runny nose and your head feels it is going to explode? You're feeling miserable because you've got the flu. Florida’s influenza (flu) season is one of the worst in years. So health officials are encouraging a flu vaccinations for everyone to curtail the spread of the virus. The vaccine is available statewide.
Florida is one of 29 states that have been classified as having “high” flu-like activity this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC reports that the flu season began early this year in the Southeast.
None of the 67 counties reported “widespread” flu-like activity. But 20 are listed at the next-highest level, “moderate,” including Broward County. Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties reported “mild” activity.
CDC recommends that all children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday get a flu vaccine, and all school employees who come in contact with children.
Be sure to watch for symptoms of the flu, such as headache, fever, a severe cough, runny nose or body aches. Contact your primary care physician or a local hospital immediately if symptoms appear.
The Florida Department of Health urges the following preventive steps for the flu:
• Get an annual vaccination. Flu types change so does the vaccine.
• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, because germs spread this way.
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• If you are sick with flu–like illness, contact your primary care physician to determine whether you need antiviral medication. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (except to get medical care or for other necessities).
Get Flu Facts and Resources
Where to get a vaccine
CDC Guidance for Schools
For more information and updates about the flu, call CDC’s hotline or visit CDC’s Web site. You can call the CDC Flu Information Hotline (English and Spanish) at: