Flu season arrives early in Arizona; health officials urge vaccinations

- Flu season in Arizona usually starts picking up in January and runs through March, but there some alarming new numbers are coming in about flu activity in the state.

These numbers state flu activity is up for some 400 percent over where it was at this time last year. It's not too late to get your flu shot, but from my random survey, it seems a lot of people just aren't that motivated.

Already, the flu numbers are looking grim for Arizona.

"Last year at this time, we were seeing a little bit over a hundred. This time, we're at 670. We need to let people know it's not too late to get your flu shot," said Arizona Department of Health Services' Dr. Cara Christ.

This week is Influenza Vaccination Week.

A random sampling of the flu shot in downtown Phoenix:

"They tell you it comes with the symptoms of the flu, so I don't have time to get a flu shot."

"I do get the flu shot ever year. I work with kids and so I have to get it."

"They even give out free flu shots in our dorms. I think there's a huge push for it, but I don't know why."

"I haven't gotten a flu shot in 30 years. I just think I don't need it. I get the flu, I'll recover. Some people don't."

Normally, Arizona has about 700 flu deaths a year with about 4,000 people hospitalized due to Influenza, so it can cause significant illness and death," explained Christ.

Dr. Christ encourages people to get their vaccinations now, especially if you're around the elderly, children, or people with health conditions.

Influenza (Flu) in Arizona
Prevention, vaccination information
http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/flu/index.php#vaccine

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