The flu is coming back, and the Mohave County Health Department recommends that recommends that Havasu residents get vaccinated.

Flu season got an early start in Arizona last year, with the number of reported cases ticking upward in early October. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the 2017-18 flu season saw an increase of more than 21,700 cases over those reported a year prior. Twelve laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported throughout Arizona this month.

“We’re seeing some flu cases now,” said Mohave County Health Department Special Program Analist Jeannie Bowen. “I would suggest people start thinking about getting those shots. Last year it hit early, and in January it really hit a bump.”

More than 1,500 influenza cases have occurred in Mohave County within the past 12 months. While the

Mohave County Health Department provides free vaccinations for children and uninsured patients, options are available for other Mohave County residents.

“There are opportunities for people to get flu shots at pharmacies and from their health practitioners,”Bowen said. “We’re a safety net. We’re going to take care of children who are either not ensured or under-insured. We’ve been doing this for the past couple of years.”

Influenza type A was the most common flu strain in Arizona this year, representing about 75 percent of all cases. Type B represented 25 percent of influenza cases. A third, unknown strain of influenza accounted for one percent of reported cases throughout Arizona.

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