These are the first flu deaths reported so far this season in Florida and account for one-third of the influenza B child deaths nationwide.
Nationally, a total of 10 influenza-associated child deaths occurred so far during the 2019-2020 flu season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported.
Six of those cases tested positive for influenza B while four cases tested positive for influenza A.
Most Common Flu Strain 2019-2020 Season
In both the U.S. and Florida, influenza B/Victoria remains the most common flu strain, which is unusual for this time of year.
The last time influenza B was the dominant flu strain in the U.S. was 27 years ago during the 1992-93 flu season.
However, it is still too early to say what strain will predominate during the 2019-20 flu season, the Florida Department of Health cautioned.
The influenza A/H1N1 strain is the next most common and is increasing in proportion relative to other flu strains both in Florida and the U.S.
2019-2020 Florida Flu Season By County Map
In the week ending December 7, moderate flu activity was reported in Brevard, Collier, Jackson, Lee, Leon, Levy, Orange, Pinellas, Putnam, and Sarasota counties.
Statewide, flu activity decreased last week but still remained above levels normally observed at this time during previous flu seasons.
2019-2020 Flu Season By State Map
During the week ending November 30, 2019, Puerto Rico and 11 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington) experienced high influenza activity.
New York City along with 11 states (Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Oregon) experienced moderate flu activity.
The District of Columbia and 9 states (California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) had low flu activity.