Influenza on rise across Tampa Bay area schools

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A large increase in influenza (flu) activity in schools has been reported to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

Department officials said those who haven’t received the flu vaccine for this flu season should get it now.

Flu activity typically peaks between December and February, and it can last as late as May.

Greta Logan never got the flu vaccine until one day she came down with influenza.

She said now, she makes sure she gets the shot every year.

“I do think it’s important because I think that when you get the flu and don’t get the shot, you can have the symptoms a lot harder,” she said.

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is alerting parents and students to take precautions.

“So far for this flu season, we’ve investigated about 10 outbreaks at schools with in Hillsborough County so we felt it was very important to let parents know we are seeing this increase in flu activity encourage vaccination,” said Public Information Officer Kevin Watler.

Last season, six flu-related pediatric deaths were reported in Florida, and all occurred in children who were not fully vaccinated.

“You feel really really bad, you get a high-grade fever a lot of times, you have stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea when you have you the flu you just need to rest,” said Watler.

There are preventive measures the health department is suggesting people take, like washing your hands, stay home from work or school and take antiviral drugs.

The vaccine is free at the health department for eligible children.

Fees vary for adults.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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