Oregon physicians urge flu patients to call first due to overcrowding


The flu is raging across Oregon, and two children have already died in the last month, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Dr. Michael Chen, a physician at The Portland Clinic in Tigard, tells FOX 12 more people are sick and have gotten the virus earlier than in years past.

Because the flu is so bad this season, Chen says health professionals are doing things a bit differently this year. They’re asking patients to call them first because doctors may be able to treat them at home and patients can save some energy.

“We can evaluate and treat patients with mild to moderate cases of influenza,” he said.

Doctors haven’t escaped the virus, either. Chen says more of them are sick at his clinic this year.

“We’re not immune from this, either. But, in general, all of the health care professionals are vaccinated," he said.

Though Chen says this year’s flu shot is weaker than in years past, but says that shouldn’t mean a person doesn’t get it. A vaccination could save a person from serious symptoms.

“The most severe symptoms someone can have are typically things that are related to breathing. Like shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing,” Chen said.

Chen tells FOX 12 that in order to avoid overcrowding, patients should call their doctors as soon as they get flu-like symptoms.

“Once you start knowing that you’re having the high fevers, and fatigue, and body aches along with the sore throat and cough, it’s always a good idea to contact your doctor sooner because there are some medications that can be given,” he said.

Chen also says if the symptoms are severe, a person might try a trip to urgent care before the emergency room because it could be faster.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.



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