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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.

Confirmed Cases: 4243

Reported Deaths: 153
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah116559
Marion96025
Washington73917
Clackamas31211
Deschutes1250
Umatilla1163
Linn1159
Polk9812
Lane733
Yamhill707
Jackson660
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Jefferson330
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine231
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln120
Morrow110
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111951

Reported Deaths: 4172
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles550012362
Riverside7486323
San Diego7481269
Orange6261147
San Bernardino5246204
Alameda339096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco258842
Kern225038
San Mateo210484
Tulare184484
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Imperial163427
Contra Costa145037
Sacramento140056
Ventura107833
San Joaquin85834
Kings7464
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5534
Monterey53010
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2691
Placer2159
Santa Cruz2132
Yolo21124
Napa1123
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado900
San Benito872
Sutter462
Del Norte450
Butte440
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake210
Inyo201
Amador190
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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