Florida Department of Health Pinellas County | Epi Watch December 2019

2018 HIV Update

Earlier this year, the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America goal was set to reduce new HIV diagnosis by 90% in 10 years1. The goal focuses on helping burdened communities to develop 4 strategies:

  1. Diagnose all people with HIV as early as possible.
  2. Treat people with HIV rapidly and effectively to reach sustained viral suppression.
  3. Prevent new HIV transmissions by using proven interventions, including Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and syringe services programs.
  4. Respond quickly to potential HIV outbreaks to get needed prevention and treatment services to people who need them.

Currently, there are 4,900 people living with a diagnosis of HIV in Pinellas county. In 2018, there were 182 new diagnosis. Of all these new cases, 87% were male, and over 78% occurred in men who have sex with men (MSM). Click here for more information about what services Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County provides. See below for an infographic specific to the African American population in Pinellas county.

2019 – 2020 Influenza Season Update

The 2019-2020 Influenza season started on September 29, 2019 with heightened surveillance monitor-ing by the Florida Department of Health-Pinellas County (FDOH-Pinellas). As of week 49 (December 7, 2019), emergency department visits (ED) for influenza-like illness (ILI) in Pinellas County have been elevated compared to the previous four seasons during this same time period (Figure 1). This year, in-fluenza B is the most common type reported in Pinellas County as well as statewide and nationwide, however, it is still too early to determine what type will predominate for the season. The last time influ-enza B was the predominant type was the 1992-1993 influenza season. Heightened influenza surveil-lance will continue through week 20, 2020 (week ending on May 16, 2020). It is not too late to get the flu vaccine and it is recommended that people age 6 months and older re-ceive this vaccine annually. Visit the FDOH-Pinellas website for more information.

Figure 1: Percentage of ED visits for ILI , Pinellas County, over 5 years.

Arbovirus Update

The Florida Department of Health routinely tracks arboviral activity in all counties which includes mosquito-borne viruses. Arboviral activity in the Americas has increased overall in recent months. As of November 30, 2019, there have been two cases of West Nile Virus and 14 cases of DENV acquired in Florida this year. To mitigate further local transmission, multiple counties in Florida are currently under a mosquito-borne illness advisory. Elevated activity in Miami-Dade County has escalated this county to a mosquito-borne illness alert.

Pinellas County is not currently under an advisory or alert but heightened surveillance monitoring will continue, however, surveillance is ongoing. Healthcare providers should keep arboviral disease on their list of differential diagnoses in patients that are showing symptoms including rash, head-ache, retroorbital pain, myalgia, arthralgia, thrombocytopenia, and leukopenia. The vast majority of cases noted annually continue to be travel-related so obtaining a thorough travel history is important for disease diagnosis and case investigation by public health officials.


Select Reportable Diseases in Pinellas County

Florida DOH logo


Florida Department of Health
in Pinellas County 

205 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701


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