UPDATE Published on October 28th At least one person has died this year in the region from the flu. State…
UPDATE Published on October 28th
At least one person has died this year in the region from the flu.
State healthcare staff report on a Pierce County man died on Monday, October 22 following a disease with flu-like complications.
Previous News Guard Coverage
TO YOUR HEALTH: Influenza Seasonal Warning
The Oregon Health Authority invites all 6 months and older to be immunized against the flu.
As the beginning of the flu season is approaching, health professionals urge families to schedule meetings to receive influenza vaccines. Vaccine is recommended for all 6 months and older.
Influenza vaccine can take up to two weeks to become effective, so getting it earlier in the season is perfect, OHA disease and vaccine experts say. Although it’s hard to know exactly how bad the flu season will be this year, OHA doctors say getting an influenza virus is the best way to prepare for how it’s formed.
“They are the best protection against influenza we have available,” says OHA Public Health Doctor Ann Thomas. “We can all do our part to keep flu-like down by getting the flu before the season really hurts.”
Influenza vaccine is available from healthcare providers, local health departments and many pharmacies. The vaccine is free or low cost with most health insurance plans. To find the flu vaccine clinic, visit http://www.flu.oregon.gov/ and use OHA’s Flu vaccine location tool.
What is the flu?
Flu is a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory disease. In severe cases it may lead to hospitalization and even death. The virus kills thousands of people in the United States every year. People with a higher risk of serious illness include children, over 65 years of age, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions or weak immune systems. Oregon had two flu related deaths of children during the flu season 201
Oregon Immunization Program data for the flu season 2017-2018 show that flu vaccination rates among certain groups lag behind others. Officials are worried that latino of all ages and African-American seniors can be left unprotected if flu vaccinations among the two groups do not increase. Latinos usually have high immunity for children, but only 39 percent of Latinos received an influenza vaccine. Afro-American seniors had 61 percent vaccination rate compared with 73 percent for white seniors.
“It is not clear why the flu vaccination rates for these two groups are lower,” says OHA Immunization Program Manager Aaron Dunn. “We want to pay attention to it and hope our health partners help us reach these groups to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to get an influenza vaccine.”
Public health professionals also call on healthcare professionals to be vaccinated for influenza. Immunized healthcare professionals help prevent spread of influenza in healthcare facilities, especially in hospitalized patients at high risk of complications from influenza as elderly, very young and those with a few chronic diseases. Information about 2016-2017 Oregon healthcare staff flu vaccinations can be found on the OHA website at https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/le8628.pdf .
Oregon Health Authority reported the death of two children in the state due of complications of flu last season.
Additional ways people can help prevent flu:
See a short video about influenza and vaccination at https://youtu.be/So1W4pNJ8OM and read more about the flu at thenewsguard.com.