FLAGSTAFF —– The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) has confirmed five cases of influenza in the County this month.
The cases originated in the Flagstaff area and are the first of the 2012/2013 flu season. Those who contracted the illness ranged in age from infant to 30s.
The confirmed cases mark the beginning of the flu season in the County, as influenza activity within Arizona continues to increase with 20 cases reported statewide (including the County’s five cases).
“We have been anticipating our first flu cases in Coconino County,” said CCPHSD Interim Chief Health Officer Kimbal Babcock. “Since flu activity typically does not reach its peak until late January or February, and influenza activity can occur as late as May, this is still a good time to get a flu shot.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone older than 6 months old receive a yearly flu vaccination to protect themselves against flu viruses. A flu shot at a CCPHSD Clinic costs $25 for adults and $15 for children 18 years and younger.
As a courtesy, the CCPHSD will bill your insurance company, but those seeking a shot should check with their insurance provider to determine whether they are covered. No one will be denied service due to inability to pay.
In addition to getting a flu shot, practicing good habits will help people maintain proper health. These simple actions can stop the spread of germs and help protect you and others from getting sick:
• Wash your hands frequently during the flu season.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands afterwards. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
• Stay home when you are sick.