Oregon schools reporting increase in flu cases, but numbers still low statewide
Local public schools are starting to see an uptick in flu cases as the Oregon Health Authority says seasonal influenza is increasing statewide.
Flu season usually runs November through April or May, with peak illnesses reported between December and February.
However, health leaders say overall numbers across Oregon are still relatively low.
"So far, it's not too bad," said Dr. Paul Lewis, Multnomah County Health Officer. "But it's going to come. It always does, usually in February or March -- sometimes earlier."
Health officials recommend that parents get their children vaccinated for the flu early, as it can take up to two weeks to become effective.
"People look at the flu as sort of a bad cold," said Dr. Corey Fish of Pacific Crest Children's Urgent Care. "But I think it can be much more of a bad actor than that for sure."
You can find your local flu shot clinic on the state’s website.
Vaccinated people typically face shorter and less severe symptoms than those who skip the flu shot.
Healthy people can get the flu and only face mild symptoms. They may not even realize they have it. But they can still pass it on to others who are more vulnerable.
Officials urge parents to "do the little things that seem inconsequential," such as washing hands, getting the flu vaccine, and keeping sick students at home.