Flu season starting early after spike of cases at the University of Arizona

Posted at 6:44 AM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 09:52:30-04

A spike in flu cases at the University of Arizona is signaling an early start to the flu season which typically runs from October to April. 

The State Health Director Cara Christ says the latest vaccine is just starting to come into the state, but a lot of places don't start holding flu clinics until September or October.

Her advice is not to wait and start calling your doctor to see if they have the vaccine available.

At the UA, 97 suspected cases have been reported since August, according to the university. Thirty have been confirmed as the flu.

Christ says a college campus is prime breeding ground for the virus as students come together from around the country and even the world and spend a lot of time in close quarters making it easy for germs to spread.

Now that the flu is in Arizona, Christ says it's unlikely it'll slow down, let alone stop.

“It's really hard to predict what the flu season's going to look like, if it's going to be longer, if we'll have more cases, if it's going to be more severe or if this is our blip and then it'll die off. Probably not, given flu,” Christ said.

In addition to getting your shot, she reminds you to frequently and thoroughly wash your hands, sneeze into your arm and throw away all used tissues to help prevent the spread of flu which is highly contagious.