MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that this year’s flu season has hit early and hit hard. Their data also shows that Florida is one of 29 states with the highest level of flu activity.
Florida’s flu season isn’t over yet for two more months and could peak this month, and because of a mutation in the virus this year your flu vaccine may not protect you this year.
“It was my last day of work, (and the) next day I started my official vacation and I couldn’t get out of bed,” said Valerie Glenn.
The Center for Disease Control or CDC says most of the country is experiencing a spike in flu cases, almost at the same level as the deadly 2012-2013 flu season.
Dr. Rodney Baker, director of the emergency medicine division at Miami Children’s Hospital, confirmed they are seeing between 15-30 cases of flu daily in the emergency room, considerably higher than the usual numbers.
In Broward County, health officials say there is a slight increase. In Miami-Dade County, there’s two-percent increase from a normal flu season because the county health department says the flu virus has mutated.
“One of the strains that circulating in the state or in the country has drifted,” says Alvaro Mejia Echeverry, MD of the Miami-Dade Health Department.
This year’s strain isn’t one of three of this year’s flu vaccine.
“It means that more people are getting sick,” said Mejia Echeverry. “Even people that are getting vaccinated may still have some effects of the flu virus if they get exposed to the virus.”
The CDC says the amount of cases could peak by mid-January.
Since the peak is yet to come, local health officials say it’s still a good idea to get the flu shot. The vaccine will lessen any symptoms if you get sick.
FLU PREVENTION TIPS
- Healthcare experts recommend getting a flu vaccination
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Wash your hands regularly
- Stay home from work if you feel sick
- Visit a doctor as soon as you feel symptoms
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