Arizona flu status updated to 'widespread' - Tucson News Now

Arizona flu status updated to 'widespread'

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Flu cases in Arizona are on the rise, with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) updating the state's status to the highest category possible – widespread.

According to latest numbers there are 520 reported cases of flu in Pima County; this time last year there were 600 cases in the county.  The ADHS is stating numbers have jumped more than 50 percent in just a single week, with the rise in cases happening in people from 19 to 49 years old. 

Many may not understand exactly what the flu is, most think it's just a cold; with similar symptoms it can be confusing.  The ADHS states the flu is more physically draining on a person.    On average from five to twenty percent of Arizonans will get the flu; of those numbers more than 4,000 of those will be hospitalized due to the flu and 700 will die from it in the state. 

State health officials remind residents the best thing to do if they are sick - stay home, drink plenty of water and wash their hands often.  The easiest way to not get the flu, according to ADHS, is to get vaccinated yearly. 

Recent numbers show that only 27 percent of those ages 18 to 64 actually got the vaccine in Arizona during 2012 – 2013 flu season. 

The only state to have lower numbers of flu cases was Florida.

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