Oregon is reporting widespread influenza and influenza-like illness. The state-wide report for outpatients seen for these types of illness is above the state’s seasonal average.
A majority of cases are testing positive for H1N1 Influenza A virus. The current flu vaccine is a good match for this virus.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory tract infection caused by influenza viruses. Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Symptoms of influenza generally include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and/or fatigue.
North Central Public Health urges people to take precautions to protect themselves and those they care about. By following a few simple steps, we can avoid becoming ill.
Fight the flu:
• Get your seasonal flu vaccination.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your arm when you cough or sneeze.
• Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Stay home if you become sick.
North Central Public Health District’s deputy health officer, Vern Harpole MD, added, “There are many influenza A viral test positive cases in the gorge and the peak of this season has not yet happened. Just because you don’t have it yet doesn’t mean you have dodged the flu bullet this year. Don’t be a ‘peak patient,’ please get your flu shot now.”
If you have questions, contact your health care provider or check out information posted on the state Public Health website: www.public. health.oregon.gov.