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Arizona Experiences Record Level Of Flu Cases

Arizona is experiencing a record number of flu cases for this time of year. Ten times more patients than usual have been infected.

Eight thousand Arizonans have been infected since the flu season began in early October. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there’s usually about 800 cases this time of year. Jessica Rigler is with DHS. She said 2,500 of those cases were reported just in the last week.

"The vaccine is about a 32 percent match to the influenza A viruses that we’re seeing circulating," Rigler said. "But it’s important to remember that some protection is better than no protection. If you get vaccinated, even if you do get sick, you’re going to have a milder illness and be sick for less time."

As a result of the increase, Rigler said stores have seen shortages of antiviral medicines. She added that emergency departments are experiencing extremely long wait times.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.