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Flu season underway, Florida doctors prepping after record 2018 season

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – October is here and flu season is officially underway. 8 On Your Side is showing you how you can prepare with vaccinations.

Flu activity peaks between December and February, and can last as late as May. But last year’s flu season was record-setting across the country, with a length of 21 weeks between November and April.

The Center for Disease Control estimated up to 42.9 million people got sick during flu season last year. Approximately 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died.

The New Mexico Department of Health said Thursday that a 90-year-old woman was the country’s first victim of this years’ flu season.

Doctors across the Tampa Bay area are preparing for a busy few months. Numbers here have steadily been increasing for the last six years.

Florida ful outbreaks

Check out how many outbreaks, or sudden increased occurrences, of the flu that have happened in the last few years. Hover over the bars to see the exact amount.

Source: Florida Department of Health Morris.Bar({ element: ‘flu’, data: [ { y: ‘2013-2014’, a: 58, }, { y: ‘2015-2016’, a: 107, }, { y: ‘2017-2018’, a: 506, }, ], xkey: ‘y’, xLabelAngle: 0, ykeys: [‘a’], labels: [‘Outbreaks’] });

Where you catch the flu

In the 2017-18 season, outbreaks occurred in the following settings, according to the Florida Department of Health. Hover over the rings to see the exact amount.

Source: Florida Department of Health Morris.Donut({ element: ‘graph’, data: [ {value: 13, label: ‘Assisted Living’}, {value: 17, label: ‘Nursing Facilities’}, {value: 19, label: ‘Longterm Care’}, {value: .5, label: ‘Adult Daycares’}, {value: 17, label: ‘Child Daycares’}, {value: 25, label: ‘Schools/Camps’}, {value: 4, label: ‘Correctional Facilities’}, {value: 1, label: ‘Hospitals’}, {value: .5, label: ‘Shelters’}, {value: 3, label: ‘Other Settings’}, ], formatter: function (x) { return x + “%”} }).on(‘click’, function(i, row){ console.log(i, row); });

The Florida Department of Health tracked the number of outbreaks – defined by the CDC as a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place – and saw a steady increase from 2012 to 2018.

In Florida, more outbreaks were reported during the 2017–2018 season than any previous season on record, including the 2009 pandemic. Almost five times the average number of outbreaks were reported during the 2017–2018 season.

Outbreaks occurred in the following settings during the 2017-2018 season, according to the Florida Department of Health:

  • 67 in assisted living facilities
  • 85 in nursing facilities
  • 99 in other long-term care facilities
  • 2 in adult day cares
  • 88 in child day cares
  • 134 in schools/camps
  • 18 in correctional facilities/juvenile detention centers
  • 6 in hospitals
  • 2 in shelters
  • 14 in other settings

More than eight times as many outbreaks were reported in facilities serving children and more than three times as many outbreaks were reported in facilities serving adults around 65 years old.

You can find locations across the Tampa Bay area to receive the Flu shot using the CDC’s vaccine finder map here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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