(Phoenix, AZ) Flu is widespread in Arizona with 2,629 more cases reported than this time last year, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced today. As of Dec. 20, there have been 2,976 cases of flu reported compared to 347 for the same time period in 2016, which is a 758 percent increase in flu activity.
This is the highest number of seasonal cases this early since influenza tests became reportable. During the past two seasons, Arizona did not reach 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. “It can take up to two weeks to build full immunity to the flu after you are vaccinated, so I encourage everyone who has not yet had a flu shot to get one today before the holidays.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive the influenza vaccine.