ORLANDO, Fla. — If you’re feeling sick after your Christmas celebrations, you’re not alone. More than half of Florida’s 67 counties are seeing an increasing number of flu cases and several outbreaks, including all of Central Florida and much of the Tampa Bay area.

What You Need To Know

  • All of Central Florida is experiencing an increase in Flu cases, with outbreaks in places like Volusia County, Hillsborough and Pasco County, as well as spiking cases in more than half of the 67 counties across the state

  • Officials believe low vaccination rates, low immunity and holiday travel might be some of the main contributors to the increase in cases

  • Flu season typically peaks in January and February; experts say you can still get your flu shots ahead of that peak, with most shots taking at least two weeks to be fully effective

The same goes for much of South Florida as well. According to this map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the states in red and purple are seeing high or very high flu activity. With peak flu season coming up in January and February, people might wonder why the state is seeing an early uptick in cases.

Associate Professor Jill Roberts at the University of South Florida’s (USF) College of Public Health told our partners at the Orlando Sentinel that it’s a combination of low vaccination rates, low immunity and busy travel schedules that may be key contributors.

Officials say if you’ve felt body aches, headaches, a cough and or a fever over the past few weeks, you may have the flu.

According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), nearly 20,000 Floridians tested positive in the week leading up to Christmas, and there are at least 9 outbreaks right now including one in Volusia County, four in Hillsborough County and at least two in Pasco County.

At least six children have died from the flu this season, according to the Sentinel. Three of those children had pre-existing medical conditions while the other children did not. However, the DOH stated that none of the children were vaccinated.

Health experts are still encouraging people to get the flu shot. Officials say just keep in mind that it takes about two weeks to take effect, so it won’t be in time to prevent the possibility of getting sick during any New Year’s Eve plans.