The deadly flu bug is starting to show up in central Oregon. It’s Oregon’s turn. The nastiest flu virus is once again on the prowl. Just when we think that the killer has slowed down, it was all the time travelling finding other places to victimize. How do we stop this serial killer from taking another victim or shall we say victims.
Heather Kaisner Immunization Coordinator with the Deschutes County Health Department just received news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “and unfortunately it’s shaping up to be a bad year for flu. Especially for adults over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions like asthma and diabetes….it’s now widespread throughout the U.S. and positive flu reports are starting to show up here in central Oregon.”
The most dominant virus this season is no other than H3N2. By some quirk of nature Kaisner said, it mutated so fast that the vaccine designed for it was rendered useless far more than what was originally conceived. Is the CDC expecting more viral strain to come? Its call for the continued vaccination using the ineffective formula as sort of protection against what other viruses may still be lurking out there,
“Oregon isn’t as high as other states, but it usually it starts on the east coast and makes its way over and so we’re expecting it to hit pretty hard here in the next couple of weeks. Lori: so what are you seeing here in central Oregon? We collect rapid flu tests, and in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a lot more rapid flu tests performed, so a lot more sick people showing up at their doctor.”
The instruction from the CDC is for doctors to prescribe the drug Tamiflu to those who come to them for consultation and are confirmed to have the flu.
“And quite a bit more rapid positives A’s so the A strain this year is the H3N2 strain, and years that that strain circulates tend to be more severe flu years in terms of hospitalizations and deaths.”.
Anybody can be a carrier of the virus even those who didn’t show any sign of the disease, Kaisner pointed out. So it is advisable to get a flu shot just in case to stop the spread of the disease some more. Everyone should practice good cleaning habit and washing the hands should be done frequently. Anybody who got the flu should stay home one more day after they have been fully cured.