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Flu Season Starts as Coconino County Confirms First Cases

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Health officials say four people are recovering from the first confirmed flu cases of the season in Coconino County. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s an early start for the spread of the potentially dangerous virus.

Last year, the county’s first cases came in late November. Though it can be spread year-round, flu numbers generally spike in the fall, continuing through the winter months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone older than six months get a flu shot. The agency says pregnant women, young children, older adults, and anyone with a chronic medical condition are particularly vulnerable to the flu. The CDC also says people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities as well as healthcare and daycare workers are also at a higher risk.

Health officials say frequent hand washing, not touching the eyes or mouth, and staying home when sick helps reduce the spread of flu.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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