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Flu outbreak in Oregon 'moderate,' officials say

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013

The onset of influenza-like symptoms may be on the rise locally, but the flu outbreak in Oregon is still “moderate” compared with other parts of the country, according to the Oregon Health Department.

According to a Friday press release, the rate of Oregonians experiencing flu-like symptoms is on the rise, heralding an early start to flu season. They add, though, that this year’s flu level remains moderate across the state and plenty of flu vaccine is currently available.

Statewide, 2.8 percent of doctor visits were for flu-like symptoms, which include a 100-degree plus fever, cough and sore throat. Flu season has effectively started when the percentage of doctor visits tops 1.5 percent.

“While we are seeing some uptick of flu, particularly H3N2, we are not seeing the rates that other states, particularly those on the East Coast and in the South, are experiencing,” said Richard Leman, M.D., public health physician in the division’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Section. “We can make sure things don’t get worse by taking action now. People can protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated and washing their hands regularly.”

This year, health officials seem to be advocating the flu vaccine as the first measure of protection against the disease. Vaccine makers have sent 1.1 million doses of the vaccine to Oregon, and about 700,000 of those have already been administered.

For the complete article see the 01-16-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-16-2013 paper.

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