Health agency: Flu surge continues in Arizona

Health agency: Flu surge continues in Arizona

Schneider also said that this year happens to be the 100-year anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic that killed 20 to 50 million people worldwide.

The health unit said most dogs who develop the disease don't get seriously ill, and typically show symptoms similar to those from other respiratory infections such as the so-called kennel cough.

"Bottom line is people should get vaccinated", he said.

What health officials do know for sure, however, is that one of the nastiest flu strains is most prevalent now. Public Health says it's not too late to get vaccinated, flu season lasts until the end of spring.

But this year's B strain, known as B/Yamagata, began circulating in the fall, much earlier than is usually the case. "Compared to the last three seasons, it looks a lot worse but it goes up and down". Health facilities changed their reporting system from manual to electronic system. "It's about 30% effective but it's still the best thing that we have". "It's unpredictable", she said. Normally we don't peak until January and February, but it started long before the holidays this year.

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Baber said people should not be swayed against getting a shot based on a common misconception floated worldwide.

"We are now spiking, but whether we have passed the peak or are continuing to rise, it's still too early to tell", she said, adding that peaks may arrive at varying times across the country as regions and communities experience major upticks in cases at different points in the epidemic.

"The virus we're giving them is dead, it's virtually impossible to get the flu from a vaccine", de Lota said.

Dr. Michael de Lota, family medicine physician at ARC Kyle Plum Creek, said he believed the spike in cases stems from fewer people getting the flu vaccine. The very young, older people and those with underlying health conditions are especially susceptible to the flu. Wischmeier says the good news is that the incidence of flu has since slowed down, locally. Any dogs with symptoms of a respiratory disease which include a cough, decreased appetite, nasal and eye discharge and fever should be kept away from other dogs for at least two weeks.

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