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With Influenza, Hospitalizations Increasing, Here is What You Can Do

January 7, 2014

Public health officials say now is still an excellent time to get the flu shot. Influenza is currently  circulating  in our community and causing serious illness even in healthy people.

Dr. Jennifer Vines, Health Officer for Washington County and deputy health officer for Multnomah and Clackamas counties, says the number of people being hospitalized for influenza is rising.

“The numbers are increasing and we are seeing more severe cases of the flu,’’ she said. “We are seeing healthy persons require hospitalization.”

But, Dr. Vines said, “this doesn’t have to be so. Small actions can make a big difference in keeping you and others from a serious infection.”

Dr. Vines recommends:

  • Get your flu shot, which is available at your primary care provider or pharmacies.
  • Go to and type in your zip code to find where flu shots are available near you.
  • Don't be a hero, stay home if you become sick.
  • 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 also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

For more information, call the Oregon Flu Hotline at 1-800-978-3040 or go to

Or, call your local health department in Multnomah County at 503-988-3406; in Clackamas County at 503-742-5300 and in Washington County at 503-846-3594.