There have been almost 28,000 diagnosed influenza cases so far this season, Dr. Terry Simpson told KTAR News 92.3 FM's Arizona Morning News.
The latest Georgia data continue to show the flu epidemic trending downward in the state.
"I think everyone is in agreement including the CDC that we're seeing fewer cases than we were seeing at what appears to be the peak of the season", he said. All five were from New Castle County. There have been at least 523 pneumonia- and influenza-related deaths in Arizona to date. Since October, 23,324 people have been hospitalized for influenza-associated complications. There's only been one other time in the last decade when the flu vaccine did a worse job.
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Locally, officials haven't found this flu season to be much different from past flu seasons.
The Garvin County Health Department is still encouraging folks to get a flu shot, which right now is being offered at no cost to recipients.
Those who are having flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, fatigue and chills are encouraged to stay home from public gatherings until they are able to go 24 hours without a fever, and without fever-reducing medication.
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The flu season peaked nationwide in mid-February, with 7.4 percent of medical visits attributed to the flu, making it the worst flu season in the United States since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
If the season lasts 20 weeks, as most seasons do, it should end in about five weeks, he said. But another kind that hits children hard has picked up steam.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness, spread by a virus. In a bad season, there are as many as 56,000 deaths connected to the flu.
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