It’s baaaack…..and it doesn’t seem like it’s been gone for very long. The flu is making an early return to our state, a few months ahead of schedule.
The UA has reported nearly 100 flu-like and confirmed influenza cases since students returned to school, and county health officials said it appears to be an early start to the flu season.
“It’s really early,” said David Salafsky, director of health promotion and preventive services at Campus Health. “We often won’t see this until late October/November, or sometimes later.”
AzCentral.com added, “According to the university’s Campus Health Center’s Medical Director Michael Stilson, students started coming in for flu-like symptoms before classes started. He says many of the first students were from sororities, but the illness’ exact origin is unknown.”
Seems like we were just saying this a few months ago, but health officials are again encouraging people to get a flu shot to keep yourself protected. Arizona Public Media quoted Michael Stilson as saying:
“We always say that if you want to roll the dice, okay. But I know those people who have got the flu are pretty miserable. And, it’s important for yourself, but you also have to consider the people around you, who may have chronic conditions, including comprised immune systems and heart problems, that may be more vulnerable to the complications that arise from the flu.”
Stilson also warned against “cutting corners” when it comes to recovery and recuperation time. “Until basically 24 hours after your fever has broken, then you can consider going back to work or class. But, if you are still having symptoms, and you are still running a fever, you are still contagious.”
And KGUN-TV spoke to Dr. Carlos Perez-Velez at the Pima County Health Department, who said, it’s too soon to officially declare the flu season’s started but there’s at least one confirmed case. He says it looks like the same flu that just made for a tough flu season in Australia is showing up here—with a boost from the fact UA attracts students from all over the world.
Share your thoughts on the flu’s early arrival in our state and whether that changes your thoughts on if or when you will go in for a flu shot this year. Another recommendation from health experts is to make sure you are careful about washing your hands to avoid catching the bug. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!