TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – If you hear someone sniffling, coughing, or wheezing, you may want to head the other way fast. Florida health officials say the flu season arrived earlier than usual this winter.

The state health department’s disease control director said Wednesday that they haven’t figured out why the flu showed up earlier. The flu season typically begins in late September or early October.

Florida’s seen three outbreaks since the beginning of the season. The outbreaks were in a long-term care facility, a nursing home and a school. There have also been 123 deaths from the flu and pneumonia this season, which is normal for thus far in the season.

The state health department said that most of the flu this season have been the regular strain which can typically be blocked with the flu vaccine.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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