ARIZONA NEWS

Flu virus lingers longer than normal this year, cases spike

Jun 23, 2017, 6:45 AM | Updated: 11:19 am
(Flickr Photo/PAHO)...
(Flickr Photo/PAHO)
(Flickr Photo/PAHO)

There’s another record to add to this month’s list of records being set.

“We had to 230 cases of influenza this week, compared to seven cases last year,” said Jessica Rigler, the branch chief of public health preparedness for the Arizona Department of Health Services.

This year’s flu was not like ones of years past. The infection rate didn’t spike in February or March, but the strain has hung-on, lingering longer than most years and therefore infecting more people and causing record numbers of people who’ve come down with the flu.

With the high exposure rate this late in the year, Rigler reminds people of the simple things to avoid catching the flu.

“Make sure you’re washing your hands,” she said. “Because you don’t want to be the one to pick it up and take it home to your family. And of course, stay home when you’re sick.”

The latest flu vaccine is described as under-performing, at best. Many elderly people have come down with it, despite being vaccinated.

Rigler says a committee comes together to determine which viral strains will be predominant for the coming year and a vaccine is created to directly respond to it. The problem is when another strain actually proliferates.

“Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary from year-to-year,” Rigler says. “Even when flu vaccine effectiveness is low, it still does prevent severe cases of flu, including hospitalization and death. So it’s better to have some degree of protection here than to have no degree of protection.”

According to Rigler, many Americans will feel they’ve had influenza, when in fact all they had was a common cold. She says when you have the flu — you’ll know it: “You feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. It’s serious, you are down, you can’t go to work, and you’re not going to be up cooking dinner, you’re not going to be with your family. It’s the kind of disease that has you in your bed with sweats and chills and significant fever and respirator issues.”

Taking a look at the coming flu season and the vaccine being prepared by the Center for Disease Control and other health agencies, Rigler reports the vaccine will protect against a number of strains, including the Influenza-A H1N1, Influenza-A H3N2, Influenza-B, Victoria Lineage and Influenza-B, Yamagata Lineage.

Rigler believes in getting inoculated from influenza, regardless if the vaccine hits the mark or isn’t. She says a vaccine that is 50 percent effective is successful in keeping 50 percent of people from being hospitalized with the flu.

“It’s always important to get your flu vaccine because it can protect you — especially when summer flu is circulating.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Woman dies after vehicle runs into concrete barrier on Phoenix freeway ramp

A woman was killed early Thursday when her vehicle hit a concrete barrier on a Phoenix freeway ramp, authorities said.
9 hours ago
(Screenshot via ADOT Webcam)...
KTAR.com

Rollover truck crash shuts down Loop 303 near I-17 in Peoria

A big rig rollover shut down part of a West Valley freeway during Thursday morning rush hour, state transportation officials said.
9 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Northern Arizona University)...
Griselda Zetino

NAU, community colleges partner to launch Arizona Attainment Alliance

NAU is partnering with all 10 community college districts across the state to meet what they view as one of the biggest challenges in Arizona: low college-attendance rates and attainment.
9 hours ago
(File Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)...
Kevin Stone

Prop 132 would require 60% supermajority to pass Arizona ballot measures that add tax

Prop 132 asks voters if ballot measures that enact a tax should require a supermajority of at least 60% to pass instead of the current 50% threshold.
9 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)...
KTAR.com

Westbound I-10 to close overnight Thursday in central Phoenix

A stretch of Interstate 10 in central Phoenix will be closed overnight Thursday for roadwork, state transportation officials said.
9 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
KTAR.com

Angry Chickz opening first Arizona location in Glendale on Friday

California-based Angry Chickz Nashville Hot Chicken will make its Arizona debut with its first location slated to open in the West Valley on Friday.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Flu virus lingers longer than normal this year, cases spike