Flu widespread in Arizona, up 758 percent compared to last year

PHOENIX - Know someone who has the flu in Arizona? 

The Arizona Department of Health Services says the flu is widespread in Arizona right now. 

According to the ADHS, there have been 2,976 cases of the flu reported this season. That is compared to 347 cases for the same time period in 2016, which is a 758 percent increase in activity. 

During the past two flu seasons, Arizona did not see widespread activity until February. 

"Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu, and with the disease spreading quickly in Arizona the time to get vaccinated is now," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

Pinal County reported its first influenza death of the season this week, an elderly resident passed away.

Flu is a contagious illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. The virus spreads when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or talks. 

If you have questions about the flu vaccine, contact the ADHS Immunization Program Office at 602-364-3630. 

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