346 confirmed flu cases in Arizona this year; 791 reported a year ago at this time

Yavapai County nurse Christine Dixon gives a flu shot in the Verde Village Clubhouse Wednesday. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Yavapai County nurse Christine Dixon gives a flu shot in the Verde Village Clubhouse Wednesday. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Influenza activity is increasing at a local level – but at a slower rate than last year.

There have been 346 confirmed cases of the flu in the State (compared with 791 last year), with most cases in Maricopa.

Yavapai County has had only seven cases confirmed at this point, however we seem to be experiencing staff out ill at work, so it is starting to circulate.

Be sure to wash your hands often, cover your coughs and sneezes into a tissue or your arm – and disinfect surfaces often to try to keep the flu at bay.

Now that flu viruses are circulating…it’s never too late to get a vaccination through the flu season. Most of the flu activity peaks between December and February and the season sometimes lasts until May.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so act soon! Call to schedule an appointment to get one now at 928-771-3122.

The symptoms of the flu are: fever; fatigue; body and muscle aches; nausea and vomiting; headache; chills; dizziness; and sore throat. Just as the initial symptoms appear to get better, respiratory problems (difficulty breathing, coughing, runny nose) begin to appear.

The flu typically lasts between four and five days, although symptoms can last anywhere from two to seven days.

If you think you might have the flu and you or someone you will be exposed to is at high risk for complications, contact your health care provider as soon as you develop symptoms. He or she can perform a flu test or diagnose you based on your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment for you.

Arizona Department of Health Services now has a dashboard for the 2018-2019 Influenza Season with up-to-date stats on cases: https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/flu/index.php#surveillance-home.

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