Flu activity widespread across Arizona, hospitals taking precaut - New York News

Flu activity widespread across Arizona, hospitals taking precautions

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Flu activity is now widespread here in Arizona as the virus has been reported in every county around the state. Now some hospitals are taking extra precautions.

"We are having a bad flu season" said Dr. Paul Stander.

Dr. Stander, the Chief Medical Officer at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, says there's usually an up tick in flu activity this time of year. But this year one of the more dangerous strains is gripping people in the valley.

"H1N1 is the strain we haven't seen and can threaten otherwise healthy people with life threatening conditions like sever pneumonia, respiratory failure, and potential organ failure" said Dr. Stander.

Several dozens of otherwise healthy people have already died from the H1N1 strain otherwise known as the swine flu in other states since the start of this years flu. Dr. Stander said that there are patients in valley hospitals right now being treated for flu complications.

"We've had people in their 20's, 30's, and 40's literally in life threatening situations" said Dr. Stander.

It sounds scary but Dr. Stander says if you feel sick and think you have the flu do not panic and rush to the hospital. "The vast majority of cases people call the flu aren't the flu... there are other viruses causing running nose cough more aches and pains the common cold that is not the flu".

And even if you did get your flu shot you should still be on guard. "(The vaccine) is not a hundred percent effective so there is still good reason to absolutely get it" said Dr. Stander.

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