Blog: Flu cases climbing in Pima County

2013-01-26T06:15:00Z Blog: Flu cases climbing in Pima CountyStephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 26, 2013 6:15 am  • 

Flu season likely has not peaked yet in Pima County, a local health department officials says.

Michael Acoba, epidemiology program manager at the Pima County Health Department, says it's still not too late to get a flu shot. It takes two weeks for the shots to be effective but Acoba predicts Pima County's 580 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza so far this season are not the peak of local flu activity.

Most of Pima County's cases have been in the last three weeks. Statewide, 4,607 flu cases have been confirmed, which is nearly five times as many as a typical flu season.

One pediatric death from flu has been confirmed in Arizona this season - a child in Yavapai county who had underlying health conditions, state officials say.

Most of the flu activity reported to Arizona officials so far this season has been in people ages 19 through 49.

In addition to a brutal flu season, Arizona is having a higher than normal level of respiratory synctial virus - RSV. State health data shows 667 cases so far this year, including 147 in Pima County. The statewide total represents a 76 percent increase in RSV cases over this time last year.

RSV is potentially fatal to babies and there's no vaccine against it.

Symptoms include a fever, reduced appetite, runny nose, cough and wheezing. Older children and adults may have a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough and a feeling of general sickness.

RSV also can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis, in children and adults. Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the small airways in the lungs and can lead to difficulty breathing. Some of those infected, particularly babies, may need to be hospitalized.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Arizona Daily Star health reporter Stephanie Innes brings you the latest health information. Contact her at sinnes@tucson.com

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Iron pot stands

Visit www.qualitypottery.net for more information, sales and specials.