PHOENIX — In western Arizona, right next to California, you’ll find the state’s second smallest county.
La Paz County has just about 21,000 residents spread out across 4,200 square miles. That’s one reason, Vickie Clark, the CEO of La Paz Regional Hospital, said is behind the county’s flu-free status.
“You’re not walking the sidewalks with all the people or fighting them in the stores all day,” she said.
La Paz stands alone as the only county in Arizona with no confirmed flu cases this season. Katie Turnbow with the county health department credits their vaccinations programs. The YMCA offers free flu shots to students at 11 schools.
“This has also been a really big community effort with our doctors and hospitals to get everybody vaccinated early in the season,” she said.
Both Clark and Turnbow don’t expect their flu-free streak to continue. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected later this month for the annual gem and mineral show in Quartzite and, in February, a big off-road race will take place in Parker, just about the time the La Paz County Health Department expects flu cases to peak.
So far, this season Arizona’s Department of Health Services has confirmed 790 flu cases compared to 18 cases at the same time during the 2011 to 2012 season. Find the latest info on Arizona’s flu cases at azdhs.gov.