Arizona health officials report 1st flu case of the season

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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Health Services has confirmed the state's first case of influenza of the season in a Maricopa County infant who is now recovering at home.

DHS Deputy Director Will Humble says the first flu case came as no surprise because it usually occurs by Thanksgiving.

Humble calls it a "wake-up call" that should prompt Arizonans to get immunized against the flu.

Most cases of the flu are never confirmed by testing.

Last year, there were nearly 5,200 confirmed statewide.

Health officials recommend the flu vaccine for everyone, but especially children, the elderly and people who have other illnesses.

An average of 36,000 people die of the flu each year in the United States.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)