Flu cases on the rise nationally, in C.O.

By Aden Krueger
POSTED: 3:19 PM PST January 9, 2013 
The flu MGN Graphic
BEND, Ore. -

Flu season is in full swing in Central Oregon, but it's still not too late to get your shots, a local health official said Wednesday.

Health specialists say usually, flu season doesn't peak until February. This year it started a bit earlier.

Although flu shots aren't 100 percent effective, doctors say they are still your best defense.

They say getting a shot will greatly reduce your chance of getting sick, and even if you do get sick, your symptoms will be milder.

"We are seeing an increase from previous years, meaning we are seeing flu hit earlier here," said Heather Kaisner, a public health communications specialist with Deschutes County Health Services. "So there's definitely been more flu cases this last month in December than we've seen in previous years."

Adults and youth as young as 11 are highly encouraged to be vaccinated. Vaccines are still available at local pharmacies and the health department.

For more information on how to avoid getting the flu and who should be vaccinated, visiting the county's Website at http://www.deschutes.org/Media-Releases/Flu-Season-Prevention-Information.aspx