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Arizona could see more flu cases into the summer months, experts say

Thousands of Arizonans getting sick with flu
Posted at 5:57 AM, Apr 30, 2019

PHOENIX — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this month that this flu season in the United States is the longest we have seen in about a decade.

Arizona is also feeling the sickness stretch on.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reports that the week of April 21, there were 562 cases reported. That is compared to 283 cases as the five-year average for that same time frame.

So far this season, the department said there have been 19,769 reported cases of the flu. That is pretty close to the five-year average for the entire season, but this season is prolonged.

"There's no 'normal' flu season," said Jessica Rigler with AZDHS. "Two seasons ago we saw cases well into June, which is certainly something we could be seeing again this season."

Rigler said people may have put their guard down against the flu because they think the sickness is not spreading anymore.

"I think there is a couple of things here that people should know. One is that flu season is not over," Rigler explained. "We are still seeing hundreds of cases reported every week, which means people are still at risk. If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet and your doctor's office still has some available, you can go get it and that can help protect you against the flu."

Rigler said that preliminary data from the CDC states the vaccine is nearly 50 percent effective.

To look at the department's interactive influenza charts, click here.