Early Flu Outbreak in Oregon

Flu Outbreak in Oregon

Oregon is 1 of 36 states
nationwide reporting an early flu
, according to
the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC). Outbreaks of influenza are getting
an early start this year, in part because of cold weather gripping much of the U.S.  The American Red Cross urges people who have
to yet get the flu vaccine to get their vaccination now. It can take two weeks
for the vaccine to provide protection; the sooner persons are vaccinated, the
sooner they will be fully protected.
I Need to Get a Flu Vaccine?

recommends that everyone six months and older should get an annual flu vaccine,
  • The young, children under 5, especially
    those under 2 years
  • Adults older than 65
  • Pregnant women and women up to two
    weeks postpartum
  • Residents of nursing homes and other
    long-term care facilities, as well as their health care providers
  • People with weakened immune systems or
    who have chronic illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease and
  • People
    who are very obese (a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)

GOOD TO KNOW: Insurers must cover the cost of the flu
vaccine, and now pharmacists in all states may administer the vaccinations.  
For more information, visit the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

Prevention:  The First Line of Defense  

The single
best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good
health habits can help stop the spread of germs and prevent the flu:
  • Wash
    your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, the time it
    takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”
  • Avoid
    touching your nose, mouth and eyes, which are avenues for germs to spread.
  • Cover
    your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or cough into your upper
  • Throw away used tissues and wash
    your hands.  
  • Keep
    common surfaces like counters, computers, phones, appliances, tools and
    utensils clean.
  • Avoid
    shaking hands.
      If you must shake hands,
    wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

and Symptoms

the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore
throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on
suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse
with the flu. Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:
  • Fever
    over 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Aching
    muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Chills
    and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry,
    persistent cough
  • Fatigue
    and weakness
  • Nasal
  • Sore

Should I See a Doctor?

people who get the flu can treat themselves at home and often don’t need to see
a doctor.
you are at risk of complications from the flu or you have any of the following symptoms,
see your doctor right away.
  • Fast
    breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish
    skin color
  • Confusion
    or sudden dizziness
  • Not
    drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like
    symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a worse cough
  • Pain
    or pressure in your chest or abdomen

Children have
additional symptoms to watch out for:
  • Not
    waking up
  • Being
    so irritable that the child does not want to be held or will not interact with others
  • Fever
    with a rash
  • No
    tears when crying
  • Significantly
    fewer wet diapers than normal

can find more information about how to help keep you and your loved ones
protected by visiting flu information
on our web site.