TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Southern Arizona is weeks into the flu season and the virus is spreading quickly.
As of Dec. 5, there have been more than 670 confirmed cases of flu in Arizona with 94 of those reported in Pima County.
Medical experts have said flu season could be more severe because of the vaccine's ineffectiveness this year.
Still, the vaccine can save lives.
Approximately 3-5 million severe influenza cases and 300,000 to 500,000 flu-related deaths are reported across the globe each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Click HERE to find a flu clinic near you.
The CDC said you can take the following steps to protect yourself against the virus:
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after coming in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.
- Disinfect surfaces regularly.
in the Tucson area, Banner Health is taking extra precautions to protect its patients.
People walking into the hospitals are greeted with a sign pointing at restrictions being enforced.
- Do not visit the hospital if you have a fever, cough, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Please, no visitors under the age of 13.
- Siblings, who do not have cold and flu symptoms, may visit a new baby on the Obstetrics unit or Pediatric unit. Your child may be screened for illness by staff before being allowed to visit.
- Children 12 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times in public waiting areas and cafeterias.
- Please wash or sanitize your hands frequently while at the hospital.
EasyGREENtv.com offers several natural flu and cold soothers that could help if you contract the flu.
The recipes, which can be found HERE, are only meant to help your symptoms. You should still go see a doctor if you get the flu or a severe cold.