When our summer temperatures climb into the triple digits, the term ‘sweating it out’ usually refers to some type of outdoor activity. But this summer, a number of Arizonans are ‘sweating it out’ in a very different way.
Flu might be the last thing on your mind… unless you were one of the 1,300 people who suffered through it in June. The number of cases is unusually high and the Arizona Department of Health doesn’t know why.
“Every season, flu is really unpredictable,” said Jessica Rigler with the DHS. “And so it’s difficult to know exactly what’s going to happen. Most years we’ll see a peak in cases around February or March, this year we saw a really small peak at that time, but the virus seems to be lingering.”
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) website, “we typically see around 200 laboratory confirmed influenza cases” in June. So, this year we’ve seen more than six times the normal number.
The North Phoenix News noted that the number of flu cases has been dropping over the past several weeks (as seen in the accompanying graphic).
However, that doesn’t mean we are out of the woods quite yet. And just in case, KTAR News Radio quoted ADHS Chief of Public Health Preparedness, Jessica Rigler, as saying with the high exposure rate this late in the year, there are a few simple things we can do to avoid catching the flu.
“Make sure you’re washing your hands,” she said. “Because you don’t want to be the one to pick it up and take it home to your family. And of course, stay home when you’re sick.”
Let us know if the flu is rearing its ugly head in your neighborhood. Sharing the latest information on the health issues affecting the people, patients and communities of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!