Arizona flu season arrives early: What you should know

It’s only the first week of November and Arizona is already seeing a significant increase in flu cases. Valleywise Health clinical director Dr. Michael White reports that patients of all ages and health conditions are seeking emergency care for flu symptoms. While some people may only experience upper respiratory symptoms like coughs and colds, others experience high fever and body aches, which can make the flu a painful experience.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported a 44% increase in flu cases across the state compared to this time last year. The alarming rise in flu cases is cause for concern because flu season typically peaks in January or February. However, it’s not just the flu that Arizonans need to be aware of, COVID-19 cases are also on the rise.

Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates remain disappointingly low. Currently, only about 3% of Arizonans have received the new COVID-19 vaccine. This low vaccination rate could cause serious problems as we enter the holidays.

Dr. Eugene Livar, assistant director of the Arizona Department of Public Health Preparedness, stressed the importance of getting vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19. Vaccination not only protects individuals from these diseases, but also protects those around them. With the holidays right around the corner, where people tend to gather in closed, enclosed spaces, it becomes even more important to take precautions through vaccination.

As Thanksgiving approaches, and the subsequent December and January holidays, the risk of spreading COVID-19 due to social interactions increases. During this fall and winter, it is critical to remain vigilant and prioritize vaccinations.

In short, the increase in flu and COVID-19 cases in Arizona highlights the importance of vaccinations. During this challenging time, protecting ourselves and our loved ones must be our top priority. By getting vaccinated, we can help break chains of transmission and make our communities safer.

common problem

Why is flu season coming early?

There is no clear answer yet as to why the onset and duration of flu seasons vary. However, a variety of factors, including weather, virus strains and population dynamics, can cause flu season to start earlier.

How do I protect myself from the flu and COVID-19?

Vaccination is the best prevention against the flu and COVID-19. Additionally, practicing good hygiene, such as regular hand washing, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distance, can help reduce the risk of infection.

Can I get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Yes, it is generally safe to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. It is recommended to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

If I’ve had COVID-19, should I get vaccinated?

Yes, it is recommended that you get vaccinated even if you have COVID-19. Vaccination provides additional protection and helps prevent reinfection with different virus variants.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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