The Flu in Arizona

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The Flu in Arizona

Flu season is something that happens every year, so many people consider it a normal part of life. However, there is a lot that people don't know about this illness, which makes disease control and staying healthy harder for all Arizonans. Read up on the flu in Arizona to better arm yourself against illness and protect others by minimizing your risk of transmission.

Stats About the Flu in Arizona

Influenza is spread through the air by tiny droplets containing the virus. Coughing, talking and sneezing are common ways the flu spreads. Having close contact with someone up to three feet away can result in a healthy person getting infected, especially if the contact lasts a long period of time. The flu can also live on hard surfaces like doorknobs or countertops. When someone touches one of these surfaces then touches their mouth, eyes or nose, they can expose themselves to the virus. It's no wonder that on average, each year in Arizona:

  • Five to 20 percent of the population gets sick with the flu.
  • More than 4,000 people must be hospitalized for flu complications.
  • About 700 cases of the flu are fatal.

This particular flu season, which began in September 2019 and is projected to end in September 2020, started off with an unusually high number of flu cases that has continued to top expectations.

Who's at Risk for the Flu?

While anyone can get the flu, there are several groups who are more susceptible to getting the illness and suffering complications from it. They include:

  • Young children under age 5, and especially infants under 12 months.
  • Adults 65 and older.
  • Residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes.
  • Pregnant women and those up to two weeks postpartum.
  • Those with weakened or compromised immune systems
  • People who have chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma or kidney disease.

People visiting Arizona may also be more vulnerable to cases of the flu because they haven't acclimated to the dry heat. This can lead to severe dehydration that makes the flu worse and harder to recover from.

The Flu Shot

Vaccination is by far the best way to prevent the flu. The flu shot contains an inactivated flu virus that allows your immune system to recognize and build up defenses against the illness. The vaccine is approved and available for anyone over six months of age, even if they have chronic medical conditions. 

The best time to get the flu shot is by the end of October, because it may take up to two weeks for the immune system to build up the antibodies that will protect against the illness. However, it is still useful to get the shot during any part of the flu season as it can extend far into the summer. 

Where to Get a Flu Shot in Arizona

If you're concerned about catching the flu in Arizona, getting a flu shot can put your mind at ease. The Arizona Department of Health Services suggests looking to the following sources for places to get your flu shot.

1. Primary Care Provider

Most people get their flu shot from their primary care provider. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to set up a quick appointment for the shot even if you are from out of state.

2. Community Health Centers

Community Health Centers are a good place to go if you need to get a shot. They accept many types of insurance and can offer you a sliding scale price if you are uninsured. 

3. Walk-In Care Clinics

You can find walk-in care clinics at a variety of pharmacies and retail locations, like a local Walgreen's or CVS. While you can simply walk in, it usually helps to call ahead and let them know you're coming in for a flu shot.

4. Immunization Clinics

There are state-wide clinics specifically created as immunization resources. Here are some of them: 

How to Tell If You Have the Flu

While influenza is typically mild to moderate, it can be very dangerous. It's important to know when you have the flu so you can take precautions like staying home or going to the doctor. The symptoms in typical cases of the flu are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Headaches
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

The symptoms in typical cases

Some people may experience gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in young children than in adults. When it comes to serious symptoms, seek medical care right away for:

  • Shortness of breath or other breathing problems
  • Cough or fever that improves temporarily, but then gets worse again
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen or chest
  • Confusion and dizziness that persists
  • Seizures
  • Inability to urinate normally
  • Severe unsteadiness or weakness
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

Tips for Preventing the Flu

To protect yourself and those around you during flu season, follow these guidelines from the Arizona Emergency Information Network:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Avoid being within three feet of people who are sick, and limit physical contact.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with your arm or a tissue.
  • Keep good health habits, such as getting enough sleep, exercising, minimizing stress, eating well and staying fully hydrated.

By being conscientious and taking these steps, you can do your part in preventing the spread of the flu this season.

Alleviate Symptoms of the Flu

When the flu strikes, your body works hard to fight the infection, but the symptoms that fight creates can be awful to suffer through. If you're looking for a way to reduce your flu symptoms and start feeling better, faster, it's time to try IV infusion.

Arizona IV Medics will send trained professionals to your home to provide you with IV fluids that hydrate you and reduce the pain of dealing with the flu. Of our many IV therapy packages, the Myers' Cocktail is ideal for getting back up and running when you have the flu

It features a combination of different vitamins and minerals that can strengthen your immune system, reduce muscle cramps and provide you with the energy you need to take care of yourself. If you need help with nausea, vomiting or a fever, we are able to add nausea medication and NSAIDs to your IV to alleviate your discomfort quickly.

Contact Arizona IV Medics today to find out more about how we can help you fight the flu.

Matt Heistan
Matt Heistan
Matt is the CEO of AZ IV Medics. Matt has over 15 years of experience in the emergency medicine field. Matt attended Westwood High School, Scottsdale Community College, and the University of Maryland where he received a BS in Psychology. Matt is a 10-year USAF veteran and has been an EMT since 1999. After separating from the USAF, Matt was hired by the Peoria AZ Fire Dept. where he has worked as a Firefighter Paramedic for the last 10 years. Matt is a life-long athlete, from college football to powerlifting, to Crossfit, to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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