COTTONWOOD - The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) reports for the week of Dec. 30 through Jan. 5 that influenza activity is widespread and increasing in Arizona.
Of the laboratory-confirmed cases during the week, 14 counties have reported confirmed cases. So far this season, 59 percent of reports are influenza A; 30 percent are influenza B; and 11 percent are unknown type.
Reports of influenza in local public schools have not yet reached numbers beyond what is typical for this time of year.
Kathleen Fleenor, superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome School District, says the absence rate for her school so far is pretty typical for this time of year.
"We are averaging about 10 to 12 student absences a day with fevers and coughs," Fleenor said. "Most of the absences do not have an official doctor's diagnosis."
Fleenor reports that four staff members were ill with flu-like symptoms over winter break.
"Right now, staff members seem to be doing OK," she said. "I'm hoping the low absence rate will hold."
Angela Walz, RN for Mingus Union High School, said the numbers in her office have been down over the last week.
"But I don't know how overall attendance has been," she said.
Alicia Stamper in the MUHS attendance office said that this year has been the best yet.
"Normally, by this time of the year I am swamped with calls and homework requests," Stamper said. "I think everyone got the flu shot and are washing their hands."
The ADHS reminds people that it is not too late to get a flu shot. Flu activity in Arizona typically remains active through the spring.