Get your tissues and throat lozenges ready. Flu season is here and even sunny Florida is feeling the effects. According to the Florida Department of Health, at the beginning of the season Influenza B Victoria lineage viruses were most predominant, type A 2009 H1N1 has taken over as the most common strain detected in sick patients. H1N1 is also known as swine flu.\nThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates swine flu has been responsible for infecting over 60 million people in the US between 2009-2010. Of the millions affected, 12,469 deaths are estimated to have occurred during that time alone.\nAs reported by the Florida Department of Health, this month has seen the highest level of state-wide flu activity observed so far this season, which is still expected to elevate over the next several weeks.\nHowever, the number of deaths associated with the flu has decreased from the previous week and seasons.\nFor Florida, the typical flu season runs from October to May.\nFrom February 2-8 twenty-nine outbreaks were reported across the state, 19 of which were Influenza-like illnesses (ILI).\nThe chart below shows the outbreak activity by county, reported as of February 8, 2020.\nFlorida Dept of Health\nIt's important to note that flu symptoms are similar but generally more severe than that of the common cold. The CDC states that the cold does not generally lead to serious health problems, whereas the flu is associated with more complications.\nView this post on Instagram The latest in-season #flu burden estimates are out. With flu activity expected to remain elevated for weeks, it’s not too late to protect yourself and your family from a potentially life-threatening flu infection with a #fluvaccine. If you do get sick with flu, #antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and prevent serious flu complications. Learn more at cdc.gov/flu. . . . #fluseason #health #flutips #CDC #publichealth A post shared by Centers for Disease Control (@cdcgov) on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:00am PST\nWhile it is impossible to completely avoid getting sick, the CDC and Florida Department of Health both recommend flu vaccines as a preventative measure.\nPublix is among one of the many pharmacies throughout the state offering no-appointment-necessary flu vaccines (plus an added incentive of $10 store gift card). More information can be found here.\nTo view the entire Florida influenza report for week 6 here. Week 7 (February 10-14) should be coming out soon.