Flu season hitting Pima County

make no mistake flu season is officially here and health experts say things could go from bad to worse but just how widespread is influenza in Arizona this season and what can parents do to protect their children it’s concerning especially after the flu last year was very bad for moms like Brittany champion keeping kids healthy during flu season is Priority One I always keep an eye out for the cough of course that’s usually the first sign and health experts tell the news for Tucson investigators keeping an eye and ear out for those first flu symptoms is critical with the flu it hits them so hard that it’s important to get in early because if they don’t get an earlier than the symptoms will last longer than expected Tucson pediatrician dr. Dwayne Dyson tells the news for Tucson investigators his practice has been busy over the past few months and it’s getting busier by the day yeah it’s definitely starting to ramp up January and February I expect to be rough in fact the Arizona Department of Health Services reports more than 400 flu cases in Pima County alone and one group has been especially hit hard this influenza season we are seeing a higher percentage of children impacted by the flu than we typically see influenza is a very serious illness and we see deaths and hospitalizations every year all the more reason the Pima County Health Department is stressing the flu vaccine for children as young as six months and it isn’t too late we often will see cases all the way through the summertime and so that’s why even now is a good time to get your children vaccinated if they haven’t been yet we want to make sure that we are vaccinating our children our infants and our adults in order to protect our community and health experts also stress common sense tips to help stop the spread of influenza don’t share drinks make sure you cover your mouth with your arm when you coughing sneeze and then avoid other people that you know that are starting to feel under the weather and most of all if you or your kids are coming down with the flu the best advice is to just stay home we want you to be fever free for at least 24 hours before you return to work or school make sure to keep your hits home so they can get plenty of rest and get better so other kids don’t get it too in addition to all those tips that we mentioned doctors also stressed the need for frequent hand-washing now even though the number of flu cases is rising it’s still about half the number compared to last year for more information about where to get your flu shots head to our website at koat.com and if you have a story that you would like us to investigate email us at investigators at koat.com or call the News for Tucson investigators tip line that’s 955 4444

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