Flu cases on the rise in Arizona

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 13:22:22-05

It could be another recording breaking year in the Grand Canyon State when it comes to flu reports.

The Arizona Department of Health Services recently released its latest influenza case numbers.

So far, 1,400 cases have been reported since the season began in October 2016; that’s up 200 cases from this time last year.

In fact, the state saw 276 new cases this past week.

“We are starting to see a real uptick in flu cases statewide,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of Arizona’s Department of Health Services.

Christ is urging resident to get their flu shot as soon as possible.

“We want to make sure that everybody is doing things to protect themselves from getting it, so making sure you get your vaccine, it's never too late," Christ said.

It’s tough to tell how effective this year’s vaccine will be until the season ends, but Christ said so far it appears to be a good match.

Health officials are especially stressing expectant mothers to get vaccinated. 

Vaccine levels are low among the pregnant population. Their website shows only 41 percent of expectant mothers get the flu shot.

“If you get vaccinated, not only do you protect yourself from complications of the flu, and pregnant women are highly susceptible to complications of influenza, but you can also pass the antibodies to your baby, which can protect your baby for the first six months of life," Christ said.

The vaccine takes about two weeks to be fully effective.

Other ways you can protect yourself include washing your hands often, and if you’re the one sick, stay home and away from others to keep from spreading the flu.