Tough flu season: virus can last longer than usual

- It's been a brutal flu season in Arizona so far. People are getting sick earlier and the symptoms are lasting longer. A visitor to downtown Phoenix said her flu not only made her feel like the "Walking Dead," but it lingered on and on.

"Even that first week, you're like this.. this bug has to be over, this has to be done and that whole second week, even into the third was like getting up, trying to do stuff and sitting back down," said Kerry Cahill.

In a particularly challenging flu season, family physician Natasha Bhuyan says people need to pay close attention to their symptoms and how long they last.

"The typical flu lasts for three to seven days and so an average adult is sick three to seven days and then they get better. There's some people who get sick and their cough will linger. Their respiratory symptoms get better, fever, body aches get better, but their cough will stick around for two weeks and that's actually pretty normal," explained Dr. Bhuyan.

She says you should be more concerned and head for the doctor if you experience Rebound Flu.

"If they get sick and recover for a few days and then they get worse. So that rebound flu is concerning because the flu can actually cause things like bacterial pneumonia or bacterial sinus infection."

There have been fore than 14,000 confirmed cases of the flu in Arizona so far this season. Half of the cases are in Maricopa County. Last year, there had been 1,400 confirmed cases of the flu by this time. And while the state does not track adult flu deaths, we do know three children in Maricopa County have died from the flu.

 

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