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Flu season arrives late in Arizona – protect yourself

March 23, 2012

The flu season has arrived late this year in Arizona and the Arizona Department of Health Services is reporting that the sickness is statewide.

Flu cases have been reported in 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties and ASU is seeing cases of flu.

Getting a flu vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent or lessen effects of the flu. Vaccines are still available at ASU Health Centers on all four campuses.

In addition to getting a flu vaccine, the ASU community can keep these basic tips in mind:

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or cough into your sleeve and not your hand. Colds and flu spread from the hand and not the mouth.

• Wash hands thoroughly with a 60 percent alcohol-based hand cleaner during flu season. If a hand cleaner is not available, wash hands in warm water for at least 15 seconds (or the time it takes to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat")

Stay home if you are sick. Since flu viruses spread easily from person to person, isolate yourself and talk to professors about making up course work if you are ill. It’s OK to return to classes after you’ve been fever-free and off of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours.

Arizona typically sees most flu cases in February or March, although the malady can present itself earlier or later in the season. Fifteen other states besides Arizona have reported widespread flu activity.