PHOENIX — Flu season is picking up across the state.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, flu activity hit “widespread” status this week — the highest category possible — with influenza reported in all 15 counties.
“Last week we had an additional 825 cases, bringing us to 2,424 this season,” said Dr. Cara Christ, chief medical officer for the AZDHS.
Most of the flu cases across the state and similarly across the nation have been diagnosed at H1N1, the same strain that caused the swine flu scare in 2009.
Christ said the end of January is generally the peak of flu season. However it’s normal for lab-confirmed cases of the flu to increase through March.
“If you suddenly feel sick, tired and begin coughing and sneezing, take care of yourself,” she said. “Stay home and don’t spread the virus to others. If you have a hard time breathing or have chest pains, you probably need to check with your doctor or get immediate help.”
Some hospitals such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Banner Hospitals are restricting access to visitors who may exhibit symptoms of the flu. Christ said hospitals take precautions to protect their patients by limiting the amount of people bringing in influenza.
“It’s people with pre-existing conditions with other health conditions that really get infected with influenza.”
If you still haven’t gotten vaccinated, it’s not too late.
“With our community reaching widespread status, this means that flu is circulating and even if you get vaccinated today, it will take two to three weeks to build up antibodies,” said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
Forty other states reported widespread flu activity last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza season begins in October and carries through September.
A list of flu shot providers is available at stopthespreadaz.org or by calling Community Information and Referral at 211 from anywhere in the state.
For more information about influenza, go to azdhs.gov/flu or contact your health care provider or local health department.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon