Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Swine flu no longer widespread in Florida

Florida is no longer seeing widespread cases of H1N1 flu, a strong sign that the virus has peaked in the state. But health officials stressed that the public needs to continue taking steps to prevent its spread.

"Our hope at this point is that people continue to take this seriously so we don't see a second wave of the virus," said Steve Huard, Hillsborough County Health Department spokesman.

Huard said people should continue to wash their hands frequently, stay home from school or work if they're ill, and get vaccinated.

The latter has become much easier this week, with increased supplies of the H1N1 vaccine in the Tampa Bay area. Area public health departments have made the vaccine available to everyone who wants to receive it, not just those in the priority groups. And private clinics and drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS have vaccine doses available.

Only 14 states are seeing widespread flu cases, according to the latest figures released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's down from 25 states a week ago and 48 states in late October. Widespread flu activity means that flu outbreaks or increases in flu-like illnesses are being reported in at least half of the regions in the state.

Florida is among 25 states that are reporting regional flu activity, which means that flu outbreaks and increases in flu-like illnesses are being reported in at least two, but less than half the regions in the state.

"It means that we're seeing a point where we may be leveling off," Huard said. "It may very well mean that people have been paying attention and getting vaccinated.

"But it's definitely not time to relax," Huard stressed. "With people shopping and gathering for the holidays, one gift you don't want to bring to your friends and family is swine flu."

Richard Martin can be reached at or (727) 893-8330

Swine flu no longer widespread in Florida 12/11/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 14, 2009 1:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]