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
- 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