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Coronavirus vs. flu: Health officials say influenza is a bigger threat to Arizona

The flu is on the rise in Arizona

So far this season, nearly 15,000 cases of influenza have been reported statewide -- people ages 5 to 49 are the most affected.

"Arizona has had a significant influenza season this year and it's concerning because we know influenza kills tens of thousands of Americans every single year," Dr. Cara Christ said.

Dr. Christ with the state department of health says influenza cases continue to pop up across the state, a much more severe scenario than the coronavirus.

RELATED: CDC reports 1st case of person-to-person spread of coronavirus in U.S.

"Normally, we see two waves of influenza. This year has been... we got our Influenza B strain very early," she said. "Just this week it flipped to our Influenza A strain, so we'll probably begin to see increased cases again." 

Dr. Christ says the best shot people have against coming down with the flu is getting vaccinated.

"It's like wearing a seatbelt. While it may not protect you from getting influenza, it's going to keep you safer.," she said. "It's going to keep you healthy, hopefully out of the hospital, and from developing secondary complications that could be fatal."

If you feel like you may be coming down with influenza, be sure to stay home, routinely wash your hands, and cover your mouth with your arm or hand when sneezing to avoid spreading it to others.