WUFT News

North Florida severe flu cases on the rise

By on January 10th, 2014

UF Health & Shands has reported an increase in influenza-like cases this flu season, with more than 150 patients admitted and 12 deaths since October.

Alachua County Health Department Administrator Paul Myers said most cases are being caused by a variant of H1N1, which first appeared during 2009’s flu outbreak. The majority of hospitalizations were patients who hadn’t received vaccinations.

“What we’re seeing different now is the severity of the illness in those that are being admitted into the hospital,” Myers said.

The issue isn’t just limited to Gainesville. According to a press release, nine of the 12 deaths were from neighboring counties in North Florida.

Myers said the most important thing people can do is get vaccinated.

According to the press release, five of the 12 deaths were patients under the age of 40, causing concern that the young are particularly susceptible.

Alachua County Schools Health Services Supervisor Patricia Hughes said although the schools haven’t seen a significant amount of flu-like responses, she encouraged parents to vaccinate their children and themselves. School staff are also encouraged to vaccinate themselves as well as their families.

Hughes said 60 percent of the school system’s 30,000 students have been vaccinated with FluMist.

She said parents should also teach their children health etiquette such as blowing their noses, washing their hands, covering their coughs and keeping their hands out of their mouths.

“Flu is airborne, and in children we know that they don’t necessarily cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough,” she said.

Flu cases increase in Florida after holidays because people travelling contract the illnesses and bring them back home, she said.

Myers said the Alachua County school system’s FluMist vaccination program reduces the county’s average of 120 hospitalizations in a typical year to around 20.

According to the FluMist website, the vaccine protects against four strains of flu and is available for people ages two to 49.


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

Robot and avatar in SecondLife

Ocala Scientist Tests How People Trust Technology

Ocala-based scientist plans to begin government-funded simulation in June. The simulation will examine the trust humans have in robots.


Grief counselors were sent to Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School, at 900 Orchid Ave., in Keystone Heights. Clay County School District is undertaking measures to improve their suicide prevention and intervention methods.

Clay County Schools Reassessing Suicide Prevention Resources

Following three student suicides this year, Clay County School District is launching an outreach initiative to help students, parents and school personnel identify at-risk students and link them with resources.


Staff member Linda Wall asks Bobellina Moric, a homeless veteran, about her medical history on April 7, 2014. Moric visited the bus to get a physical since it is difficult to reach health care services in Hernando, Fla.

Citrus County Health Bus Reaches Distant Residents

The Citrus County Health Department has implemented a mobile clinic program to help low-income and homeless patients get basic medical services.


Increase In Leptospirosis Found Among Pets

Veterinarians at the UF Small Animal Hospital have seen 12 cases of leptospirosis in the past seven months.


Florida School anatomy class

Gainesville Midwifery School Aims to Double Enrollment As Home Births Increase

The school is one of nine nationally accredited direct-entry midwifery schools in the country.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments