Flu activity increasing in Coconino County

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) reports that flu activity continues to increase across the County. A total of 29 confirmed cases of flu were diagnosed during the week ending Jan. 22, up from 14 confirmed cases reported the previous week. A total of 91 confirmed cases of influenza were diagnosed in Coconino County during the 2010-11 season (through Jan. 22).

Arizona continues to experience high levels of statewide activity and reports of "widespread" activity. Laboratory-confirmed influenza has been identified in all counties. In the past week, 533 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza were reported from 14 counties. A total of 2,557 cases have been reported this season from all counties. More information about flu surveillance is available at www.coconino.az.gov/clinic.aspx?id=19194.

"We have seen a steady increase in flu activity in Coconino County during the past several weeks," said Barbara Worgess, CCPHSD Chief Health Officer. "These numbers are typical for January and February; however, it is important to keep in mind that there are many cases of flu that are unreported. Since many people do not need to seek medical attention when sick with the flu and are not tested, they are not included in these numbers."

Worgess added, "Most influenza circulating is a match to the influenza vaccine. There is still time to get a flu shot to protect yourself against the flu."

The CCPHSD Clinic, located at 2625 N. King St. in Flagstaff, is offering flu shots on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 8 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments are required.

Pneumonia vaccinations are recommended for adults 65 years of age or older, people with certain medical conditions, and for all children younger than five years as part of their routine vaccination schedule.

The cost for a flu shot is $25 for adults and $15 for children aged 18 and under. Adult pneumonia vaccinations are available for $23. Children's pneumonia vaccines are free of charge with a maximum administration fee of $15.

As a courtesy, the CCPHSD will bill your insurance company. Please check with your insurance provider to determine your current coverage. Bring your insurance card with you. No one will be denied service due to inability to pay.

In addition to getting a flu shot, good health habits will help you stay well. These simple actions can stop the spread of germs and help protect you and others from getting sick:

• Wash your hands frequently during the flu season.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Avoid contact with people who are sick.

• Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands afterwards. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.

• Stay home when you are sick.

For more information regarding additional clinics or to schedule an appointment, call the Health District at (928) 679-7300 or toll-free at 1-877-679-7272 or visit www.coconino.az.gov/health.

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