Health officials say Arizona's early flu season has become widespread

PHOENIX - Arizona's flu cases reached widespread status this week after nearly 2,200 cases in total were reported in 14 of the state's 15 counties, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Officials said that "widespread" is the highest status.

With an early start to the flue season, about 1,000 cases were reported last week alone, officials said, adding that the peak of a typical flu season is in February or March.

According to the Department of Health Services, the flu is a virus with symptoms similar to the common cold. However, the flu is often more severe.

The department advises people who have symptoms of the flu to stay at home, rest, and drink fluids, but say that people with serious more symptoms should seek medical attention.

Officials said that Arizona is not the only state facing a spread of influenza. 41 other states also reported widespread flu activity last week.

If you have not received your flu vaccination yet, the department says it's not too late. A list of flu shot providers can be found at www.stopthespreadaz.org .

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