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Website lets Arizona users track flu cases in their area

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

PHOENIX — As Arizona gears up for flu season, a new website has launched that allows users to track cases of the sickness in their area.

Flu Near You allows users to look at case numbers by state and ZIP code.

“They use two sources of data,” Dr. Cara Christ with the state Department of Health said. “The community source – which can be anybody who signs up to voluntarily and anonymously report how they’re feeling – or you can pick CDC (Centers for Disease Control) flu activity.”

Christ said the department closely watches cases of the illness between October and May, but peak season in Arizona is usually between February and May.

The website is free and does not require a signup.

Last year, Arizona saw a spike in the number of flu cases.

The predominant strain was H1N1, but AH3B is also circulating at a high level. H1N1 was commonly known as swine flu when it caused global pandemic during the 2009-2010 season. Back then it was a novel strain. Now, it is among the common viruses.

Symptoms of the H1N1 virus include fever, cough and sore throat. Young adults are especially at risk. Other viruses tend to cause more serious complications in children and adults 65 and older.

Cronkite News’ Kaitlyn Ahrbeck contributed to this report.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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