Delayed flu season for Oregon, elderly more susceptible to this strain

Josephine County Public Health says flu season usually peaks from late January to early February but this year, Oregon is seeing it's peak in March.

Posted: Mar 11, 2019 5:52 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2019 6:11 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Josephine County Public Health Director, Michael Weber, says that last year was a nasty flu season. This year, we haven't seen as many flu cases in Oregon, but we also haven't hit the peak yet.

Flu seasons are unpredictable, so there's not exact answer to why this could happen, but Weber told NewsWatch 12 that this delayed spike in flu season may have to do with the amount of people who got a flu shot this year.

"Part of it is our vaccinations are up significantly. So, we have about a 25 percent increase in vaccination rates for children this year and we're seeing similar numbers for adults and that can help clear off a lot of the influenza — that's the primary influenza strains," said Weber.

Weber suspects that vaccination rates are up because last year was a particularly bad season. He said we aren't far enough in the flu season to get an exact read on how effective the flu shot is, but he said right now its about 47 percent effective. That's within the normal range of how effective the shot usually is.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that this year's flu strain is particularly attacking the elderly. They say seniors are at high risk for catching the flu because their immune systems have trouble identifying new viral strains. The CDC says a new strain, H3N2, now accounts for more than half the nation's flu cases.

The Rogue Valley Retirement community has a plan of action if they have an outbreak of illnesses.

"We shut down the floors and the kitchen and the dining room. In the kitchen then we provide each level of floor food service to their doors and we ask that no one comes out unless it's an emergency," says Shirley Bright, manager of the Rogue Valley Retirement Community.

So far, Bright says they have been lucky and have not seen many flu cases yet.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
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