Flu hitting early in U.S., Arizona - Tucson News Now

Flu hitting early in U.S., Arizona

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The flu season is off to its earliest start in nearly 10 years in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it could be a bad one.

So far in Arizona, we're seeing an early start, but experts say it's too early to know if it will be a bad season or not.

In fact, there are no reported cases in Pima County yet.

Typically Arizona's flu season doesn't get going until late December or early January, but we've already had 70 cases.

About half of them are in Maricopa and Navajo Counties.

Pima County Health Department Epidemiology Program Manager Michael Acoba says it's not too late to get the flu vaccine.

He says this year's vaccine is a good match for what's circulating out there, and there's plenty of vaccine to go around.

Some primary care physicians have it on hand.

Many pharmacies are offering the shot.

U.S. military veterans enrolled in VA Health Care may get the vaccine at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Building 80, at 3601 S. Sixth Avenue in Tucson.

The VA also has Community Based Outpatient Clinics located at Safford, Casa Grande, Sierra Vista, Yuma, Green Valley, Northwest and Southeast Tucson. 

Acoba says it's still to early to predict whether Arizona will have a bad flu season.

He recommends the usual precautions.

Get vaccinated.

Wash your hands.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

If you do get sick, stay home.  Don't go to school or work.

The CDC has information it titles: "What You Should Know For the 2012-2013 Influenza Season."  Click here.

It includes information on "who should get vaccinated this season."

For flu symptoms, click here.

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