• Flu may spread more easily than previously thought

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax

    Updated:

    RELATED: When can you go back to work or school if you have the flu?

    The Florida Department of Health says flu activity is higher than it's ever been. Just last week, 82 flu outbreaks were reported in the state.

    In both Duval and St. Johns Counties, five or more outbreaks were reported. In Putnam County, there were 3-4 outbreaks.

    A majority of Florida flu outbreaks are happening in daycares, schools and camps.

    RELATED: Jacksonville-area restaurants taking precautions during flu season

    Carl Traver in Orange Park said he caught the flu in December and still has symptoms.

    “Stomach and head pains, stopped up nose, and a lot of coughing,” said Traver.

    New research shows the flu virus spreads more easily than previously thought.

    In 2014, MIT used high-speed imaging to study just how far cough and sneeze droplets can spread germs.

    Now, a new CDC study shows the flu can be transmitted just by breathing.

    University of Maryland is using a machine called the Gesundheit II to collect and analyze the flu virus in an exhaled breath.

    Researchers are using those virus samples to track how the flu spreads.

    “I’m wearing a mask due to family members contracting the flu,” said Jacksonville father Harold Hines.

    Hines said his son and wife have both come down with it.

    “She was hospitalized for a couple days, then they released her,” said Hines.

    Hines got his flu vaccine about a month ago and is popping vitamin C.

    “I’m still not out of the woods. I can still catch it. You know, flu season’s not over yet,” said Hines.

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