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First flu case confirmed in Maricopa County

PHOENIX -- Flu season is back in the Valley. The Arizona Department of Health Services said Monday that the first flu case of 2013 has been confirmed.

A child who was not vaccinated was diagnosed with influenza B. The child was not hospitalized.

Officials said the first diagnosis is a reminder for everyone, especially those susceptible to illness, to get a flu shot.

"We just don't know yet which strain will dominate this season or how bad it will be," Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said in a press release. "But we do know that the best way to protect ourselves and those around us is to get our flu vaccine."

In 2012, Arizona labs confirmed more than 11,000 cases of the flu with more than 5,600 of those cases being in Maricopa County. Four children died of flu-related causes.

"These numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg. There are actually thousands more cases that never get reported to Public Health because they don't see a doctor or get diagnosed" said England.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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