PHOENIX -- Unfortunately, the wait is over -- the flu is making its way through Arizona. According to state health officials, 2,200 cases of the virus have been reported in 14 of the 15 counties.
Jeanene Fowler, a spokeswoman for Maricopa County Public Health, declared the flu "widespread", with almost half of the reported cases coming last week.
Health officials had anticipated the winter would bring a particularly bad flu season.
Earlier this week, Arizona's Department of Health Services confirmed 790 flu cases. During the same period last year, there were 18 cases.
"Kids just got back to school so there's a good chance this trend will continue because now our kids are just starting to mix it up in school," said Fowler, offering a possible explanation for the sudden increase in flu activity.
Most doctors will offer flu shots through the end of the month, said Dr. Connie Abarikwu at John C. Lincoln Hospital. The vaccine need about 10 days in a person's system before taking effect.
Find the latest info on Arizona's flu cases at azdhs.gov.
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