Local health experts say flu cases on the rise | News

TUCSON (KVOA) — It may be the month of June, but the Pima County Health Department is keeping a close eye on rising influenza cases.

“The numbers we were seeing in the last few weeks were equivalent to the numbers we would be seeing in February in most typical years,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen from the Pima County Health Department.

Health experts said one of the possible reasons for the increase in cases is a decrease in mitigation strategies, such as wearing masks.

“Masks are off, people are coming together inside where it’s easy to spread these respiratory droplets,” said Pima County Supervisor, Dr. Matt Heinz. “So I’m not surprised that we’re seeing this now given that we’re coming off of this pandemic.”

The CDC estimates, so far this season, there have been at least 8 million flu illnesses, 82,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths from flu.

Health experts advise to be aware of those around you and do your part to stop the spread.

“You’re shedding a lot of virus just breathing around people and you don’t even know it,” Heinz said. “That’s why it’s so important to especially when you start to feel those symptoms you’ve probably been exposing people for a couple of days. It’s important and respectful to everyone else.”

Health experts said it is best to reach out to your health care provider because it is not too late to get your flu shot.

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