County confirms first case of flu

Mohave County has its first confirmed case of influenza this season.

Confirmation came from a nasal swab culture recently tested at the Arizona State Laboratory in Phoenix.

The culture was taken from an elementary school child, Christy Bronston, director of nursing with the Mohave County Department of Health and Social Services, said.

"This helps confirm what type influenza (B) it is and lets providers and other health care workers know that flu vaccine is still an effective preventative measure," Bronston said.

Flu season in Arizona runs from October through April, reaching its peak in February.

Symptoms of flu include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, a nonproductive cough, sore throat and runny nose.

Vaccinations may be obtained from local physicians or the county health department at 753-0714.

The vaccine is effective against both the A and B types of influenza, Bronston said.

"Influenza is not reportable, so I can't say how many cases we have in Arizona," Ann Lutz, adult immunization coordinator with the Arizona Department of Health Services, said.

"We do active surveillance where we call hospitals and laboratories and we keep track of positive flu cultures from the state lab, so we can know when it peaks.

We have seen about equal amounts of types A and B influenza and are reporting to the Centers for Disease Control that we have sporadic cases of it, as opposed to regional or widespread outbreaks."

Lutz agreed with Bronston, saying the vaccine available is a good match for flu strains this season and that it is a good idea to get vaccinated against it even this far into the flu season.