Flu activity skyrockets in U.S., Florida - FOX 13 News

Flu activity skyrockets in U.S., Florida

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Flu activity is climbing nationwide, and the intensity of the season is reaching record levels in Florida.

In the central part of the state, flu cases are almost double what they were last year, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Last week on Google's "Flu Trends" tracker, Florida was at a "high level" for activity. This week it's now at an "intense level," joining the rest of the southeast.

Schools are seeing more absences this year, and hospitals and clinics say the number of people who are sick is leaps and bounds higher than last year.

According to Google's tool, which bases its numbers on social media and online searches, Florida's flu activity started to rise rapidly in November, and the trend is continuing.

The only year that seems to have had more reported cases was early in 2009-10, but still, officials haven't seen numbers like this in January for a long time.  

The Department of Health reminds that it's more important than ever to wash your hands with warm, soapy water. They also encourage anyone that's sick to stay home, to avoid infecting loved ones or coworkers.

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