Weekend Rewind: The Flu in South Florida

The Flu in South Florida – here's what’s going on right now 

Bottom Line: It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s also flu season. Unfortunately, it’s made its way to South Florida. Only 14 of Florida’s 67 counties currently have outbreaks of the flu, according to the weekly Flu map from the CDC, but the entire tri-county area is now at risk. In fact, Miami-Dade is one of the three worst areas for outbreaks in the state right now. The current strain that’s hitting us is our old evil friend H1N1. Where’s it coming from?  

27 states currently have flu outbreaks but none worse than Massachusetts. Massachusetts currently has “widespread” (the worst ranking) outbreaks according to the CDC. So, you if you’re traveling to Massachusetts or you’re with people who’ve come down from there you need to be especially careful. Being stuck on a plane going to or from Boston might be the quickest way to get sick right now. If you’re looking for a silver lining on the Florida flu season so far it might be the strain that’s down here. The current version of H1N1 has been around since 2009 and should be addressed by an effective flu shot.  

I’ve never been a fan of getting a flu shot simply for the sake of getting one – as most flu shots aren’t effective for combating the strain of flu you’re ultimately exposed to – but if it doesn’t mutate this might be a year where it’s on the higher side of its effectiveness rate. Over the past decade flu vaccines have had effectiveness rates that'd ranged from 19%-60%. The average effectiveness rate hangs out around 40%. Fingers crossed and hands washed.

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