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Arizona seeing early bump in flu cases

PHOENIX — Schools in Arizona have already reported a handful of flu cases, the Arizona State Department of Health Services said.

Only about a dozen cases so far this year have been confirmed — most in Maricopa County — but health officials believe that is the tip of the iceberg. Clarisse Tsang with AZDOH said flu season usually peaks in December and January but your child should be vaccinated now. It takes a while for the vaccine to kick in.

“Everyone who is 6 months or older should be vaccinated against the flu,” she said. “It protects you and the people around you.”

Flu season is always a challenge for working parents. Some send sick kids to school and the flu races through a classroom.

“Any place where people are together is a place where flu can spread,” said Tsang. “Anyone with flu symptoms needs to home.”

Last year was the worst flu season in Arizona since the 2009 swine flu scare. There were 11,000 confirmed cases of the flu in Arizona in 2012.