Flu on decline in Coconino County

2013-03-06T05:00:00Z Flu on decline in Coconino CountyCYNDY COLE Sun Staff Reporter Arizona Daily Sun
March 06, 2013 5:00 am  • 

Coconino County's serious flu season appears to be on a steep decline, with only a half-dozen cases confirmed last week, as opposed to 127 for one week at the end of January.

It appears the flu may have peaked here in January and retreated ever since, according to data from Coconino County public health officials, though those numbers sometimes get reported well after the fact.

The majority of people who think they have the flu historically don't see a physician or get tested. But the number of cases confirmed by health care providers is one measure of the spread of flu and the relative severity of that year's virus.

By that metric, Coconino County is having its worst flu season in at least eight years, or worse than years declared pandemics.

But using another measure -- flu-like symptoms reported by school nurses -- means 2009-10 might have seen a lot more real cases of the flu, based on statewide figures.

Other notable flu trends this year from county and state data:

-- About half of the cases testing positive were in Flagstaff, which also accounts for about half of the county's population. Roughly the other half were in other county communities, with Page and Tuba City leading.

-- There have been no child deaths this year related to flu in Coconino County, but there was one in Yavapai County and another in Navajo County. Thirteen children died of the flu statewide in 2009-2010.

-- Most cases in Coconino County (84 percent) were in people younger than age 50.

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