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Swine flu makes return to Arizona

PHOENIX -- The swine flu is making the rounds again and Arizona health experts are recommending people get a flu shot as soon as possible.

H1N1, dubbed swine flu, first appeared in 2009. It killed thousands globally before a vaccine was developed. Dr. Cara Christ, chief medical officer with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said this time around it's not as severe. There's no cause for panic because the current vaccine protects against H1N1.

"Hopefully this vaccine will keep our numbers lower but you never know with the flu," she said.

Christ said dozens of flu cases have been tested this season and 95 percent have been of the H1N1 variety.

"It could be because of increased travel and it could be because people simply haven't been vaccinated," she said.

Christ said some people who are vaccinated end up with the flu but they're still better off getting the vaccine.

There have been no child deaths in Arizona this season from the swine flu.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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