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PHOENIX -- As if shin splints weren't enough to worry about, runners getting ready for the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll marathon are worried about catching the flu.

Arizona Department of Health has reported that the flu in Arizona is widespread, which is the highest category possible.

"Three to six months preparing for an event, of course they're going to be worried about it," said Rob Wallack, owner and founder of Runner's Den, a Phoenix-based runners and walkers store.

"We are all reading it in the papers and hearing it in the news that it's hit Phoenix and Arizona really hard."

According to doctors, influenza is a serious viral illness with symptoms similar to the common cold. However, the flu comes on quickly and is more physically draining. For most people, the best care is to stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids. For others, especially those with underlying conditions, it can be more severe.

"I think people should have less contact with others, a little less shaking hands, a little less closeness the last week," said Wallack. "I'm not telling people to be paranoid, but after spending so much time training, the common sense things you can do the last week will probably go a long way," he added.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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