Flu season lands in Arizona

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The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first flu case of the season: an unvaccinated child with influenza type B who was never hospitalized.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine. This year a newly available vaccine will protect against four different flu viruses; two A strains (an H3N2 and H1N1 strain) and two B strains. Most available vaccines will only protect against three strains (Only one B strain).

“Getting a flu shot is as much about community protection as it is about personal protection,” said Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “There are people who can’t get a flu shot. It’s up to all of us to do the right thing. While we’re protecting ourselves when we get the shot, we’re also preventing the flu from spreading in our communities.”

Last year, Arizona had more than 11,000 lab-confirmed flu cases and four children died from influenza.

Preparation includes getting the flu vaccine and being vigilant about good hygiene — covering our cough in our sleeves, washing our hands frequently and staying home when we are sick. For more information about the flu and its symptoms or where to find a flu vaccine in Arizona, please click here.

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