PHOENIX -- It’s officially flu season in Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health confirmed the first flu case of the season this week.
Officials said the first case was an unvaccinated woman in her late 50s. She did not need to be hospitalized.
While it remains to be seen just how bad this year’s flu season will be, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months gets a flu vaccine.
“We just don’t know yet which strain will dominate this season or how bad it will be. But we do know that the best way to protect ourselves and those around us is to get our flu vaccine,” said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
This year’s flu vaccine will protect against an H3N2 virus, an H1N1 virus, and an influenza B virus.
Officials add that getting a flu vaccine is about more than just protecting your own personal health.
“There are people who can’t get a flu shot. It’s up to all of us to do the right thing. While we’re protecting ourselves when we get the shot, we’re also preventing the flu from spreading to our communities,” said Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.
There were 4,000 cases of the flu in Arizona last year, with one person under the age of 19 dying from influenza.
Along with getting a vaccine, officials also recommend that people practice good hygiene and stay home when they are sick.
For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine visit StopTheSpreadAZ.org.