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Tampa Bay doctors see spike in flu cases as kids start summer break

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ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — School is out for the summer, and kids aren’t thinking about the flu.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St.Petersburg say they’re seeing spike in flu cases even though it isn’t flu season.

Leaders at the hospital say last month more than 1,200 kids tested positive for the virus.

“We’re seeing the largest flu numbers we’ve seen since pre-pandemic and, uncharacteristically, we are seeing large number of flu cases for this time of year. It’s hot, it’s June, we shouldn’t be seeing the flu but, everything has shifted since the pandemic,” Dr. Joseph Perno said.

According to Perno, the flu vaccine is typically the best defense against the virus, but right now, it’s not really available making it tough to find.

“If you’re sick, stay home, right? Getting your kids to wash their hands, cover your mouth if they are sneezing or coughing, don’t send your kids to summer camp or wherever if they are sick,” he said.

Perno says it will get easier to find flu shots as we head towards cooler months.

“Pretty soon, we’re going to be entering traditional flu season and time to get vaccines. So, I’m pushing that come September, October it’s very important to get vaccinated. We don’t want to see another surge like we are seeing here,” he said.

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