Flu cases are expected to increase over the next four weeks, with the highest number of reported flu cases taking place in January and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the organization, there’s a 95 percent chance the highest amount of flu activity will take place nationwide by the end of February, and there’s a 70 percent chance that point could be reached by the end of this month.

The organization’s prediction comes as result of the CDC’s new Flu Forecasting initiative, which challenged 21 groups nationwide in submitting weekly forecasts, analyzing the range and severity of epidemics throughout the U.S.

According to the CDC, Arizona was one of 20 states in which the flu was described as “widespread” this season. The Arizona Department of Health Services says influenza strain H1N1 was most prominent in Mohave County, with 32 cases reported since flu season began this October. Only one case of influenza strain A/H3 was reported this year in Mohave County.

There have been more than 4,500 reported flu cases this season, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports, with 1,254 of those cases having occurred since Jan. 5.

According to the CDC, there have been 16 pediatric deaths caused by influenza nationwide as of this week, and with more reported flu cases expected, severity indicators for influenza are expected to rise throughout January and February.

For more information about the flu and how to get immunized, residents can contact their private medical practitioners or call the Mohave County Health Department at 928-453-0703.

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