Flu cases increasing in most parts of Florida as season hits nation earlier than normal

Posted at 4:46 AM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 20:35:10-05

TAMPA, Fla. — The Flu is making a surprise appearance in our state, earlier and strong than years past. 2 children have died because of it in Florida according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"We’ve seen a lot more kids being seen in the emergency room and some of them are being admitted to the hospital with a really bad case of flu," said Dr. Juan Dumois, with Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. He says most of those kids did not get their flu shot.

RELATED | Florida among 46 states with widespread flu outbreaks

Jaina Johnson's daughter, who did get the flu shot for the first time this year is finally feeling better after getting it from daycare. "I’ve never seen her get so sick," said Johnson. "She was probably down for about four days. She started feeling better the second day, fever like symptoms. We took her to the doctor and they said it was the flu."

Experts are saying the vaccine is only 10% effective, but Dr. Dumois says it can still lessen the severity of symptoms if you do get the flu.

New data released by the CDC is showing most cases are being found in nursing homes long-term care facilities although schools and daycare facilities are topping the list too.

"It’s probably been one of the worst years I’ve ever seen the flu," Johnson said.

Most of the state is seeing an increase in cases, it's why doctors say it's not too late to get the vaccine.

The intense flu season also comes at a time many hospitals nationwide are running low on IV bags after hurricanes shut down power to many manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico.

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital says they are taking steps now to conserve the ones they already have and preparing in case of a shortage.