This years flu season has turned into an epidemic, killing at lest 30 children since October and closed schools across the county. While nationally the flu season shows no signs of slowing down, in Deschutes County reported flu cases are on the decline.
This year’s flu struck hard in 32 states, including Oregon, which reported record high numbers of emergency room visits due to the flu.
Part of that may have to do with this year’s predominant flu strain, H3N2, which tends to come with more severe symptoms.
In Deschutes County alone 102 residents went to the emergency room with the flu in the first week of January, but as the month goes on that number has dropped significantly. In the second week of January 86 people went to the emergency room with the flu and only 58 cases were reported between January 14th and 20th.
Children under 5 are one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to the virus since their immune systems are still developing. Elderly populations are also particularly vulnerable but officials are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.
Even though the vaccine doesn’t guarantee you won’t catch the flu, it could lessen your symptoms and help you avoid complications like catching a secondary illness like pneumonia which commonly leads to hospitalization.