Latest flu news: Still time to get a flu shot and become familiar with symptoms
Flu season is on-going in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. Clinic visits for people with influenza-like symptoms (fever, chills, body aches, sore throat and cough) have been remained moderate over the past few weeks.
However, 93 people have been hospitalized since Oct. 1, 2012 -- including 28 in just this last week. Elderly residents continue to be hit hard, with the highest percentage of these hospitalizations. Anyone can get the flu and even healthy children and adults can become seriously ill. Fortunately, no pediatric deaths have been reported in the state.
Tri-county health officials say the vaccine is available and is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months. Be familiar with the symptoms of the flu, because early treatment with antiviral medications can really help. For more information on symptoms and whether or not to see a doctor, visit web.multco.us/health/influenza.
To protect yourself and your family:
- Get the flu shot. The vaccine reduces your risk of getting sick from influenza and from spreading the virus to others. Much of the flu season still lies ahead and it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective, so get vaccinated now.
- Cover your cough and sneezes. Influenza is mostly spread by people coughing or sneezing on you! Cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue - and remember to toss the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. While the virus doesn’t live long on surfaces like doorknobs or hand rails, it can survive up to 12 hours and spread that way.
- Stay home if you become sick -- at least 24 hours after a fever.
For information on how to prevent the flu or find where to get the flu shot:, visit www.flu.oregon.gov or call 211.
For Providers: Healthcare providers will find helpful information through the state here. Disease reporting is only for hospitalized patients. State public health laboratory testing is limited so contact your local health department for guidance. For information on which wholesale distributors or manufacturers have influenza vaccine in stock, check the Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System. Additional information is also available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or click here for flu updates.