Flu Activity On The Rise

Jan 4, 2013

We're into the flu season in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu activity is very hard to predict.
Credit Tennessee Department of Health website

The medical director for Oregon's immunization program, Dr. Paul Cieslak says in some parts of the country, the flu season is in full swing. In the Pacific Northwest, he says, activity is a little slower, but catching up. 

He says flu shots this year appear to be a good match—about 90 percent--for the the virus strains found in the community.  But, he says, there may be more hospitalizations this year.

"It does look like most of the strains being isolated are this H3 N2 type, which tends to be the worst type," Cieslak says. "You may remember that the pandemic year, which caused a lot of infection, didn't put a lot of people in the hospital, that was an H1 N1 strain, but this year we've got  the kind of bad one back again." 

But he says, flu activity is very hard to predict.  He says the flu season will last for another two months at least -- and the best defense is to get a shot.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting