Oregon sees trending decline in flu cases compared to 2019

Health

But the state may not be completely out of potential trouble yet. The influenza season can peak as late as March in Oregon

HealthBeat Flu Vaccine_231717

Nurse B.K. Morris gives a flu shot to Winifred Quinn during a press event on the flu vaccine, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — At least judging by the numbers, the flu season has been far less prevalent in Oregon this year — so far.

That’s likely because the same precautions Oregonians are taking to avoid COVID-19 seem to be keeping them safe from the flu.

Dr. Paul Cieslak with the Oregon Health Authority said he’s impressed at how few cases the state has seen: “We’ve only confirmed four cases in the state so far out of 2,800 specimens tested.”

In 2019, the last full flu season before the pandemic, Oregon saw 14,344 confirmed cases of influenza.

Doctors don’t think the drop is due to the flu vaccine itself being especially effective against this year’s most common strain of flu.

“We did have a lot of people getting vaccinated,” Cieslak said. “But ‘a lot’ is in the 40 to 50% range of eligible adults getting vaccinated. So it’s nowhere near all of the population.”

OPB is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Click here to read their full story.

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