Health officials: Flu widespread in Arizona now

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona health officials say flu activity is widespread in the state this week with influenza reported in 14 of its 15 counties.

State Department of Health Services officials say about 1,000 of the nearly 2,200 flu cases were reported last week. Because many people aren't tested for the flu, officials say that number likely is just a fraction of the true number of cases.

There's also been an increase in hospital admissions for flu cases, especially in central Arizona.

Arizona is not alone in this uptick of influenza -- 41 other states reported widespread activity last week. The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza season begins in October and carries through the following September.

Influenza is a serious viral illness with symptoms similar to the common cold, but it comes on quickly and is more physically draining.

Arizona typically sees most of its flu cases in February or March. Officials say influenza can be unpredictable and can peak either earlier or later in the season.

A list of flu shot providers is available at or by calling Community Information and Referral at 211 from anywhere in the state.

For more information about influenza, go to or contact your health care provider or local health department.