Health agency: Flu lingering in Arizona longer than usual

Posted at 2:17 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 13:29:41-04

Arizona health officials say the flu is lingering in the state longer than usual.  

The Department of Health Services says the state had nearly 1,300 laboratory-confirmed cases in June, compared with 200 typically. Just last week DHS says there 98 reported flu cases.  

"It's really hard to say why we're seeing the flu not drop as much as we generally do," says Jessica Rigler with DHS.

The state's "disease detectives" are taking a good look at why Arizona is seeing such a high number of influenza cases in the summer. They'll be talking with patients about if they traveled outside of Arizona or out of the country.

"They'll also investigate exposure, like, have they been to the county fair and kissed a pig," says Rigler. "Sometimes we'll see variant influenza by other kinds of animals so that's something we want to know." Rigler says Arizona hasn't seen any cases related to swine exposure but since it's happened in other states, they do look at the possibility of it happening here.  

Meanwhile, preparations for the 2017-2018 flu season are underway. The department says composition for the next flu season's vaccine has been finalized and will be available in the fall.