Flu season arrives in Oregon, Washington


VALLEY. WE WILL TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FOR THE REST OF THE WEEKEND COMING UP IN A FEW MINUTES. DAN: WE WILL SEE YOU THEN. FLU SEASON HAS ARRIVED. LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THEY’RE SEEING AN INCREASE IN FLU ACTIVITY. EILEEN: OUR AMY FRAZIER JOINS US NOW WITH WHAT TO EXPECT, AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF. REPORTER: TODAY, I MET WITH CLARK COUNTY’S PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR, HE SAYS THE SPIKE IN FLU ACTIVITY IS PRETTY TYPICAL RIGHT NOW. HE ALSO WARNS THE FLU CAN BE DEADLY. PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON ARE ENOURAGING EVERYONE SIX MONTHS AND OLDER TO GET A FLU SHOT. THE FLU VACCINE ISN’T PERFECT, BUT DOCTORS SAY IT’S THE BEST DEFENSE AGAINST GETTING SERIOUSLY SICK WITH INFLUENZA. LAST WEEK IN CLARK COUNTY, 21% OF PEOPLE TESTED FOR THE FLU CAME BACK POSITIVE FOR FOR — POSITIVE FOR INFLUENZA. CLOSER TO PORTLAND, THE NUMBER WAS ABOUT 18%, ANYTHING ABOVE ABOUT 10% LETS DOCTORS KNOW THE FLU SEASON HAS STARTED. JUST BECAUSE THE FLU IS HERE, IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO GET YOUR FLU SHOT. THE SEASON WILL GO ON FOR WEEKS, FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, SO I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO AHEAD AND DO THAT IF THEY HAVEN’T DONE IT YET. REPORTER: LOCAL HEALTH LEADERS SAY IT’S TOO SOON TO PREDICT WHAT STRAIN OF FLU WILL BE MOST COMMON THIS YEAR. IF IT’S THE SAME TYPE AUSTRALIA HAD, SOME STUDIES SUGGEST THE CURRENT VACCINE MAY BE JUST 10% EFFECTIVE. EVEN IF THAT’S THE CASE, LOCAL DOCTORS ARGUE IT’S STILL IMPORTANT TO DO WHAT YOU CAN TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF INFLUENZA. THE FLU IS MOST SEVERE IN YOUNG CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY AND IN PREGNANT WOMEN. DOCTORS ALSO SAY STAY HOME IF YOU’RE SICK, COVER COUGHS AND SNEEZES AND WASH YOUR HANDS ALOT.

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