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Flu Cases Continue To Rise In Oregon

<p>In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The flu forecast is cloudy and it&rsquo;s too soon to know if the U.S. is in for a third miserable season in a row, but health officials said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 not to delay vaccination.</p>

David Goldman

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In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The flu forecast is cloudy and it’s too soon to know if the U.S. is in for a third miserable season in a row, but health officials said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 not to delay vaccination.

The number of flu cases and doctor's visits continues to rise in Oregon, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority.

Last week, 3.6% of all emergency department visits in the state were flu-related. Last year’s flu season did not see that percentage of visits until late February.

The percentage of positive tests for the flu also rose last week to 27.3% from 19.4% the week before, according to OHA.

There has been a total of nine widespread flu outbreaks reported to OHA so far this season — four in long-term care facilities and five in schools.

OHA said 31 people in the Portland metro area have been hospitalized from the flu so far this season.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.