Flu season saw a spike in late December but in Oregon, health officials report we’ve just hit the peak.
Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg has seen an influx of positive flu tests over the past few weeks. Lately, nursing homes are reporting an increased number of cases. Schools are seeing elevated levels of student absences. Some districts, are running low on substitute teachers.
It’s hard to predict each year what the flu will look like. But public health officials say vaccinating is the best protection against the virus. Laura Turpin is an epidemiologist with Douglas Public Health Network.
“I think most people have an attitude of, ‘Well, I’ve never gotten the flu or I haven’t gotten the flu in years so, I don’t need the flu shot,’” Turpin tells KLCC. “But if you think of it more of a community stand point, that you’re preventing other people around you from getting sick as well. I think there’s a very good argument for getting the flu shot.”
Turpin says this year’s vaccine is well matched with the currently circulating type A strain of influenza.