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Flu season peaking in Oregon
Updated On: Jan 14, 2013

Experts say get a shot, wash your hands often and stay home if you get sick

Flu season is peaking in Oregon currently, as it is in all but three states

Flu season is peaking in Oregon currently, as it is in all but three states. The good news is that experts say this year's flu vaccine is well matched to the circulating strains of influenza; the bad news is that many clinics and such are reporting a vaccine shortage as people rush in at the last minute.


A recent federal government study said this year's flu vaccine is 62 percent effective, which is relatively high for an influenza shot.


Here's what health care experts say you should be doing:


  • Get your seasonal flu vaccination.


  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your arm when you cough or sneeze.


  • Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.


  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.


  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.


OK, all that didn't work and you get sick. Now what? First off, stay home! You're not helping yourself, your co-workers or your employer by coming to work and spreading the virus further. Doctors say most people will get a mild case and can best help themselves and protect others by simply staying home and resting. But ... people with severe symptoms should see a doctor. They may be given antiviral drugs or other medications to ease symptoms.


Also note that influenza is not the only bug making people sick right now. The cold virus and a nasty stomach virus are also going around. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference, but cold symptoms include stuffy or runny nose, sore throat and sneezing. Flu usually involves fever, along with chills, headache and moderate-to-severe body aches and tiredness. Symptoms can come on rapidly, within three to six hours.


More information on the flu is available from the Oregon Health Authority.


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