Wednesday, February 10, 2016
For Immediate Release: February 10, 2016
Media Contact: Holly Ward
ARIZONA - The Arizona Department of Health Services reports influenza activity in the state has reached a "widespread" classification. More than 3,700 cases of flu have been reported throughout Arizona with 51% of those in Maricopa County.
"The flu is a serious illness," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. "What's important is to follow your mother's advice: wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay home from work if you are feeling ill."
Influenza symptoms are similar to the common cold. However, the flu comes on quickly and is more physically draining. For most people, the best care is to stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids. For others, especially those with certain medical conditions, the flu can be more severe.
Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot since Arizona's flu season can last as late as May.
"One of the best prevention methods we have is to get your flu shot," said Dr. Christ. "In Arizona, the heaviest part of flu season typically occurs in late December, January and February."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issue flu activity classifications as no activity, sporadic, local, regional and widespread. The widespread classification is used when there is an increase in flu and flu-like illnesses and recent laboratory confirmed flu in at least half of a state's regions. Three other states have been classified as widespread so far this season.
There have been 3,710 lab-confirmed influenza cases reported for the 2015-2016 influenza season in Arizona. Cases have been reported in all 15 counties, with the most in Maricopa 1,909; Pima, 939; Yavapai, 207; and Pinal, 201.
Dr. Christ said those numbers likely represent just a fraction of the actual number of cases.
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Posted by Barbara at 5:05 PM