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AZ has most reported cases of flu in the country

Posted: 6:01 PM, Feb 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-24 05:05:54-05

Arizona has the most reported cases of flu in the country.  It's the only state listed by the CDC as having the highest level of influenza this week.

Flu season isn't over yet, but it is coming a little bit late and you still have time to protect yourself.
 
Sean Elliott, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Banner UMC says, "This is the second week of widespread flu, probably going onto the third. Arizona historically has about 5-6 weeks of being widespread as far as influenza."
 
This year's cases are spiking later, but have have yet to peak.
 
That means it will get worse before it gets better.
 
"We've had a very odd winter all across the country. That may be part of it. other times the flu season starts a little bit later. Then it's hard to predict how long it will last and how severe it will be," said Elliott.
 
Elliott says it's not too late to get a flu shot.
 
Children and the elderly are always more at risk, but and otherwise healthy young adult is also at risk for severe disease.
 
Emergency rooms and doctor's offices have been slammed with flu patients in recent days.
 
Banner UMC's emergency room had a six hour wait the other day.
 
Elliott says that if you think you may have the flu don't rush to see a doctor.
 
"Call your doctor's office, ask for advice on whether to come in, be tested and then be treated," said Elliott. "The key is: if one is managing at home, staying hydrated, keeping fevers down, stay home. Don't go to work, Don't go to school, Don't go to the emergency room."
 
The Pima County Health Department  offers immunizations for children and adults.
 
Interested participants should bring immunization records and health insurance records.  Please check locations and hours for the clinic nearest you.