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Arizona No. 1 For Flu Activity On Walgreens Index

Walgreens Flu Index
(Photo via walgreens.maps.arcgis.com)
Walgreens Flu Index for Feb. 21, 2016.

With temperatures in the 80s in parts of the state, it’s hard to believe that Arizona ranks No. 1 for flu activity, according to the Walgreens Flu Index.

As of last week, there were more than 7,000 cases of flu confirmed in Arizona.

Dr. Cara Christ, director for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said she expects to see even more cases — and she says those figures are just the tip of the iceberg. But Christ cautions it’s not the vaccine that’s the problem.

“The vaccine has proven to be an excellent match this year so we are encouraging people to still get vaccinated. Unfortunately we have people who are unvaccinated who are going to be susceptible to flu,” said Christ.

Christ said the strain responsible for the high number flu cases is Influenza A (H1N1), which is also in the vaccine. She said the flu season can linger into May.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.