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Doctor urges Arizonans to get flu shot ahead of possibly nasty peak season

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
LISTEN: It's flu season. What steps can you take to prevent catching one?

PHOENIX — A doctor said Arizonans should consider getting an influenza shot soon as the state readies for what could be a nasty peak of flu season.

“The strain that has come out this year is one that typically has bad outcomes,” Dr. Terry Simpson told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Tuesday. “It’s the worst of the strains that we’re seeing right now.”

Simpson said Arizona residents will benefit from getting a flu shot even with the worst part of the season so close at hand.

“You’ll start building up immunity to the flu immediately,” he said. “Even if you get the flu and have had the vaccine, your course will be much better.”

For those who are already feeling a little under the weather, Simpson said there are options out there.

“If you get the flu and you’re at high-risk, you should see your doctor because there are some anti-flu medicines out there that are fairly effective if you catch it in the first couple of days.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services said there were 270 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu reported in the first week of 2017 in 13 counties.

More than 1,120 cases — Maricopa County leads with 338 — have been reported since Oct. 2 across all 15 Arizona counties, which is a 43 percent jump from the 786 cases reported during the same time frame last season.