Influenza Hits Arizona Early

Influenza Hits Arizona Early
Posted on 01/07/2018
Article by Dr. Jeffrey Seigel

Arizona has been hit very hard by Influenza this season. Arizona saw widespread flu this season about 6-8 weeks sooner than average and with 10 times more cases then this time last year. The predominant strain of influenza this season is a variant of the H3N2 Influenza A strain. The current influenza vaccine covers the H3N2 strain, but has only showed 10-30% effectiveness in preventing illness from this variant. The good news is the vaccine continues to help prevent serious disease and serious complications from influenza. The vaccine is still our best weapon to fight against influenza.

Typical symptoms of influenza are fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, and cough. Flu is spread most effectively through large respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing near another person. The average incubation period is about 2 days. The contagious period starts about 1 day before symptoms and continues for about a week. If your child gets the flu keep them home from school and all activities until their fever has resolved for 24 hours without fever medication and they have energy to make it through the school day. Make sure to wash hands frequently in the home and school, teach your children to cough and sneeze into their arm or a tissue, and wipe down counters and door handles as well.

Flu is most dangerous for children under 2 years, people over 60 years, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical conditions. Treatment for healthy children and adults is mainly supportive. For those under 2 years or with underlying medical conditions, it is recommended to use a medication called Tamiflu which is a specific antiviral drug. The medication is most effective if started within 48 hours of the beginning of symptoms. There is currently a shortage of Tamiflu due to the rapid onset of influenza nationwide. Tamiflu is not necessary for healthy kids and adults not at high risk. If you are your child develops any difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, fever over 105, change in mental status, persistent vomiting or seizures seek emergency medical attention.

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498

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