Ari­zona flu num­bers show a sharp in­crease over last year

The Arizona Republic - - News - Vic­tor Ren

Cases of the flu in Ari­zona have con­tin­ued to rise through the first week of Jan­uary, as there were 11,515 con­firmed cases from mid-Oc­to­ber through Jan. 6, ac­cord­ing to the Ari­zona De­part­ment of Health Ser­vices.

ADHS re­ported that this is a 938 per­cent in­crease from the 1,109 re­ported cases in 2016-17 for the same pe­riod.

ADHS also re­ported there were 2,455 con­firmed cases for the week end­ing Jan. 6, which is nearly 2,200 more cases com­pared with last sea­son for the same week.

The last time the flu was this wide­spread was in 2015, but those num­bers were recorded in the peak sea­son of Fe­bru­ary, ac­cord­ing to ADHS.

Out­breaks of the flu got out to an early start this sea­son, as re­ported cases were on the rise in De­cem­ber.

There were 36 states that de­clared wide­spread flu out­breaks in De­cem­ber, and deaths have been re­ported in some states.

The flu is a con­ta­gious ill­ness that spreads through con­tact or when some­one with the virus coughs, sneezes and talks. Young chil­dren, older peo­ple, and peo­ple with prior health con­di­tions may be at a higher risk for se­ri­ous flu com­pli­ca­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the Health Ser­vices De­part­ment, the best way to pre­vent the flu is to re­ceive a vac­ci­na­tion each year.

The Health Ser­vices De­part­ment rec­om­mends that ev­ery­one take pre­cau­tions when they are sick by wash­ing their hands, cov­er­ing their mouths when cough­ing, stay­ing home when sick and drink­ing non-caf­feinated flu­ids.

Lo­cal vac­ci­na­tion clin­ics are listed on vac­cinefinder.org.

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