The Oregon Health Authority’s newest weekly flu season statistics point out a toddler died from influenza-related points, the primary seen this season. The proportion of ER visits for influenza-like diseases rose from 2.6% to three.6% within the week of Dec. 18-14, the OHA reported in its “Flu Bites” weekly surveillance report for the flu and respiratory viruses.
There have been 31 individuals hospitalized in Oregon because of the flu that week, up from 21 the prior week. The share of flu exams that got here again optimistic additionally rose, from simply over 19% to greater than 27%. “Flu season has come earlier this year than different years. We’re about three to four weeks’ sooner than basically for different seasons,” Dr. Katie Sharff, an infectious illness specialist with Kaiser Permanente, told KGW.
Flu season varies year to year. Docs sometimes classify flu season from October to March, with the height of exercise from December to February. “This year may be very attention-grabbing. We see a predominance of influenza B virus, which is a singular pressure to see this early within the season,” Sharff stated.
In keeping with the CDC, signs of the flu embody fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, physique aches, complications, and fatigue. “Everybody’s vulnerable to the flu, and it is not simply serious danger. And so even in the event, you assume you are wholesome, it’s best to get a flu shot,” Sharff mentioned. “In 2017, 2018, they estimated 50,000 to 60,000 deaths from the flu. So it is an actual illness, and I feel we underestimate it.”
These in danger are kids, girls who’re pregnant, seniors, and those who have a medical situation like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes. Sharff says even sure medicines you’re taking can put you liable to the flu.
Sharff stated it is by no means too late to get the flu shot. “By getting the flu shot, you are not solely defending your self — you are defending the individuals you like,” she mentioned.