During the 2009- 2010 influenza pandemic, we saw how influenza can be unpredictable in terms of who it affects most, when it occurs, and what strains will circulate. This season is no exception. While the circulating strains are exactly what we had predicted, the peak of the flu season is hitting later than usual… and the influenza virus is finally making rounds.
Last week, the number of flu cases jumped by more than 40 percent and came in from almost the whole state. Flu numbers are posted every Wednesday in the Surveillance Report. Our state lab has done a lot of PCR and culture testing to find out more details about the circulating viruses, and the good news is that, so far, the three strains in the vaccine are a good match with the circulating strains in Arizona and nationally (H3N2 Influenza A, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain and an Influenza B). There are still plenty of places you can find an influenza vaccine- and of course it’ll be more important over the next few weeks to cover your cough properly, wash your hands and stay home if you or your kids get sick.