Health News

Flu hitting Central Florida early, hard

Orlando SentinelThis year’s flu outbreak is starting earlier than usual and is widespread and increasing throughout the state, say officials who are urging Floridians to get their flu shot.

Tim Hendrix, medical director with Centra Care, said new cases last week were at a record high. At 25 clinics, including 21 in Central Florida, 908 cases were reported; that’s 44 percent higher than the previous one-week high of 630, which was set the week of Christmas in 2012, he said.

“This time last year we had 200 cases,” Hendrix said. Though it’s unclear why there have been so many flu diagnoses, part of it may be because one of the most prevalent flu viruses this year has mutated from the strain in vaccines, he said.[Read full story]