flubasicsInfluenza season has officially started in Arizona with the first locally-acquired case confirmed late last week. If you and your family haven’t been vaccinated for influenza this season, the time is now. The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone six months and older. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent influenza, but it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you and those around you can be protected.

Influenza (or flu) is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. People sick with influenza can spread it to others when coughing, sneezing, or talking, and this can happen a day before they even feel sick. Along with vaccination, there are other ways to stop spreading germs such as properly washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home if you are sick.

Don’t let influenza catch you off guard this season! Influenza is unpredictable and last season Arizona experienced a record high number of cases. Take a look at our influenza report, which is updated weekly during the influenza season, to learn more about influenza activity in Arizona.  Find out about the benefits of the flu vaccine and where to get vaccinated on our website.