Arizona flu season begins during COVID-19 spike

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Monday, December 13, 2021 - 5:05am
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Flu cases were unusually low last winter, and Arizona health officials attributed COVID-19 mitigation measures to slowing the spread of influenza.

Now, COVID-19 cases are surging statewide in the midst of flu season, which means Arizonans are at elevated risk to get sick.

So far this year, the state health department is reporting more than 450 cases of influenza, about half of the usual amount to this point in the year.

Dr. Shad Marvasti of the University of Arizona says it’s not likely, but not impossible, to have both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.

“It’s possible. It’s less likely, because usually what happens is one infects you, and then you pretty much get out of commission, right, because you self-isolate yourself, so you’re not really coming into exposure,” said Marvasti.

Marvasti says having one virus doesn’t make you more susceptible to the other, but because COVID-19 and the flu present similar symptoms, anyone feeling sick should get tested to find out what they have.

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