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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.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4620663

Reported Deaths: 67781
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144072125799
Riverside3561924786
San Diego3481004002
San Bernardino3456445474
Orange3135295344
Sacramento1494582070
Santa Clara1398391835
Fresno1347291868
Kern1343971515
Alameda1155381318
Ventura972861115
San Joaquin965701608
Contra Costa95152917
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72268894
San Mateo51984607
San Francisco51582605
Monterey49321562
Solano43887312
Santa Barbara42872497
Sonoma39192376
Merced38977532
Placer36118358
Imperial34105753
Kings29822280
San Luis Obispo28136310
Madera21520258
Butte20994230
Shasta20308276
Santa Cruz20066211
Yolo19040239
Marin17020242
El Dorado15864127
Sutter12955152
Napa1219395
Yuba915461
Nevada839485
Humboldt819084
Tehama810983
San Benito706167
Mendocino676471
Lassen634127
Tuolumne605593
Lake596487
Amador486658
Glenn394630
Siskiyou383241
Calaveras334566
Del Norte330134
Colusa289718
Inyo164939
Mono14625
Plumas12076
Mariposa96712
Trinity70510
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1170
Alpine990
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