2 flu-related deaths reported in Broward, Miami-Dade County

Doctors say more people could be sick


HOLLYWOOD – Health officials have confirmed the deaths of two people after a mild outbreak of the flu hit South Florida.

Doctors are saying the H1N1 virus is mainly affecting healthy middle-aged people.

"The flu affects everybody, however, interestingly the usual flu virus that we typically see on a basis tends to affect the elderly," said Dr. Randy Katz, of Memorial Healthcare System. "In this virus, it tends to affect the younger healthier patients more severely so those patients tend to get sicker."

The recent cold snap in South Florida is also a contributing factor. Studies show the influenza viruses circulate at a higher level in cooler dryer air.

"This is the first year since 2009 that we've seen large numbers of H1N1. We're seeing a lot of the virus," said Dr. Katz . "If you have flu symptoms, stay at home and protect yourself, keep your hands clean and cover your mouth when you cough."

Symptoms of the flu include fatigue, high fever, tightness in the chest and cough.

Health officials say there is still plenty of flu vaccine and anyone who hasn't gotten one should do so.

The Department of Health in Broward County said no reports of pediatric influenza deaths ages 18 years old or younger have been reported.