HOSPITAL FLU CASES SPIKE

(KPTV image)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Some area hospitals are inundated with flu patients right now.

According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) flu season hasn’t peaked yet and it’s still recommending to get your flu shot.

Adventist Doctor Christopher Cirino said 10 percent of its hospital patients tested positive for the flu.

That’s up 8 percent in just a few weeks.

“There might be some elements as to the weather changing we’ve definitely had some colder weather in the last few weeks and there have been some studies looking at how weather patterns could potentially affect the flu season,” Doctor Cirino said.

Doctor Cirino said the weather could play a factor in the uptick because if it’s colder people are indoors and it can be easier to spread to the virus.

So how do you know if you should go to your primary care physician or the Emergency Room?

Doctor Cirino said if you have an underlying condition that affects your breathing, and you start to get flu-like symptoms including a cough, fever, chills or congestion he says the situation is more urgent because someone could have complications.

“If they’re having these symptoms and it seems to be building up where they’re having a little bit more trouble breathing I think that would be a good indication to go into be seen in the ER,” Doctor Cirino said.

Here’s some additional tips:

  1. It's not too late to get a flu shot.
  2. If you are sick, you're likely to be seen faster if you go to an immediate care clinic.
  3. If you are sick with flu-like symptoms you should wear a mask if you plan to go to a clinic or hospital for treatment.
  4. The best prevention is to wash your hands.

“Maybe this is the season for fist bumping instead of handshaking,” Doctor Cirino said.

The OHA said it appears the current vaccine is a good match for the circulating strain.

Doctors said the flu typically ends sometime in May.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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