EUGENE, Ore. — Doctors offices across the Eugene-Springfield area area seeing an increase in patients with flu symptoms. Across the state 81 people were hospitalized with the flu last week and already two people in Oregon have passed away from the H1N1 strain of the flu virus, including 5-year-old Eugene boy Ronan Burgess.
Lane County Health officials said this is just the start of the flu season. “Last year’s flu season peaked in late January, so there’s still more to come,” said Jason Davis, Lane County Health and Human Services spokesperson.
Doctors are urging patients to get vaccinated. “We have doctors recommending that people still get the vaccine. It’s not too late. Typically we see a drop off of people getting the vaccine right after the holidays, but really we haven’t even peaked in the flu season,” said Davis.
Prevention doesn’t just come from getting the flu shot. “Practice good respiratory health. Coughing into your elbow, washing your hands frequently, making sure you dispose of any sort of waste like tissues or washing your handkerchief right away,” said Davis.
Lane County Public Health said this years flu vaccination does cover the H1N1 strain of the flu. It takes the body about a week to build up enough antibodies to fight the flu, so it’s best to get the vaccine early in the flu season.