Jackson County flu activity level is “high and circulating widely”

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Jackson County Health Officials say that flu activity level in the county is high and circulating widely.

“This one seems to be particularly nasty,” CEO of Valley Immediate Care, Brent Kell said.

The virus’s activity in the state and across the nation has increased rapidly and earlier than in past years.

“[H3N2 is] one of the four strains that are in our flu vaccine. So, it looks like theoretically the flu vaccine autta be a good match for what we’re seeing, at least right now,” Kell said.

Even if you have gotten your flu shot, it is still possible to catch the virus.

So, if you’re not feeling well, officials say to stay home.

“If you do experience symptoms, you’re not doing anyone a favor by going into work or going to that Christmas party. Please, please if you’re sick stay home. May not be covid, may not be the flu, but it’s probably some other bug that no one wants to share with you,” Kell said.

With the holidays coming up, indoor gatherings are inevitable, but Kell reminded people to be mindful of their health leading up to the festivities.

“For most of us that are healthy, we’ll probably do okay, but you know you go to grandma’s house for the holiday and she gets the flu and she could have some bad outcomes. I’m not going to talk anybody into not gathering for the holidays but just give some consideration there.”

Jackson County Public Health Officer Dr. Leona O’Keefe echoed that sentiment and recommended maybe taking some additional precautionary steps, including avoiding or at least masking up for crowded indoor gatherings.

“I think we’re all tired of hearing about viruses after so many years of covid-19 and that’s really understandable, but our individual choices really do add up to make a collective difference for our community, so whatever one of those steps you feel you can take, we would ask you to start taking those steps now,” O’Keefe said.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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