By The Associated Press
Clinics and hospital emergency rooms across Arizona are crowded with flu patients seeking treatment.
The latest statewide figures released Friday by the Arizona Department of Health Services said 7,978 cases of flu were reported so far this flu season, compared with 834 during the same period a year earlier, an 857 percent increase.
Emergency services manager Jennifer Rohler at Kingman Regional Medical Center told the Kingman Daily Miner that wait times can stretch up to four hours and that many sick people are better off just staying home.
The Department of Health Services says getting vaccinated is the most effective protection against influenza.
The department says it can take up to two weeks to build full immunity to influenza following a vaccination, so people should get flu shots immediately.
This story has been corrected to provide the full name of the Arizona Department of Health Serices.
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