A legislative effort to allow pharmacists to issue flu tests to sick Floridians is on hold for now. It comes at a time when health officials say this year’s flu season is just as bad as the swine flu epidemic nearly a decade ago.

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This is turning out to be one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, and the incidences of flu continue to rise in southwest Florida. We’re joined by Dr. Mary Beth Saunders, she’s Lee Health System’s Medical Director for Epidemiology and Infection Prevention. We’ll get an update on the current numbers, as well as ways folks can protect themselves from the influenza virus. And we’ll explore best practices for caring for a loved one who has come down with the flu.

While the flu is causing problems around the country, the number of students and teachers infected in Pinellas County has increased this year.   

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner says preliminary autopsy findings show Influenza B killed a 12-year-old boy.

Health officials say the United States could have a harsher than usual flu season, and is already showing influenza activity above the national baseline for the first time this season.