Medical authorities in Oregon thought they had it bad in the 2016-2017 flu season. A year ago, they were going through the worst flurry of flu outbreaks on record. Well, fast forward to one year later, and the situation is even worse. Spokespeople for the Public Health division of the Oregon Medical Authority are declaring a particularly alarming year in terms of flu patients. Five percent of emergency room patients in Oregon are now confirmed to be flu sufferers, and the season hasn’t even peaked. For perspective, last year’s numbers – remember, the worst on record – peaked at four percent.
Hospitals in Oregon are seeing a similar development to those in California and Texas when it comes to the sheer number of flu patients this year. It seems to be higher all across the board than in previous years. This could simply indicate that, for some reason, the flu season is peaking a little earlier in 2018. But doctors think that it’s just as likely that the worst is yet to come. Based on statistical evidence alone, the flu season reaches its peak only at the end of January, even in the first days of February.
Fortunately, medics in Oregon have not recorded any infant deaths due to flu symptoms as of yet. In adults, it is difficult to track flu mortality, because although the disease definitely has an impact on well-being, and weakens the immune system, it is rarely the only cause of death in adults. In order to keep the rate of infection and of risk as low as possible, authorities have begun restricting visitor access in maternity wards. New mothers will only be allowed a total of four visitors while they are in the hospital, as long as none of them are under twelve years of age. This restriction will stay in place until the flu season ends.
In the meanwhile, the flu shot is still a good defensive measure, and given that medics are expecting another three or four weeks of this flu onslaught, it’s still very recommended.