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Florida hospitals full of flu patients as cases continue to increase, hundreds reported a day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Influenza cases are rising week over week. Public health experts said it’s going to continue to increase during the holidays.

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The UF Health System is getting up to 15 flu cases a day compared to bigger hospitals their getting about 100 cases.

Infection Prevention Director of UF Health Jacksonville– Chad Neilson said, “So, we’re probably averaging 10 – 15 cases in the UF Health System in Jacksonville. That’s our hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers. If you extrapolate that to what other hospitals are likely seeing as well, you’re probably talking about a much greater number. Probably 75 to 100 cases of flu in the city of Jacksonville per day if I had to estimate what the other hospitals are seeing.”

Here’s a look at the county flu activity trend from the State Department’s website.

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According to Neilson, the high increase in flu cases in Duval, Baker, Clay, and St. John’s County is due to holiday gatherings.

Neilson said, “We tend to see respiratory viral season spike around the holidays because that’s people are unknowingly going to holiday events with some type of illness lingering in the background. That’s when they start to spread amongst others.”

There was a mixed reaction of locals saying they would take the flu vaccine and others saying they don’t need it.

Local man Claude Stuteville said, “I think it is a good idea. If a person has any underlying conditions, then I say absolutely.

One woman said she has her method to fix the flu and that’s with a glass of water with salt and baking soda

Neilson said, “This year’s flu shot is effective at cutting the symptoms of flu and keeping you safe and out of the hospital. Additionally to that, don’t be around people when you’re sick. The best thing you can do is stay home and take care of yourself.”

Things like wearing a face mask, washing your hands, and trying to stay away from others when sick are going to keep you and others healthy.

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