Increase in influenza cases prompts promotion of vaccine
January 14, 2013
Greetings LC Community,
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that most of United States is experiencing a high number of influenza cases. Currently, the Oregon Health Authority reports the number of cases in Oregon to be at a moderate level. We anticipate that the number of cases here in Oregon may grow. February is generally the peak month for influenza.
Students will be returning soon from all around the United States and the world. In anticipation of a more severe influenza season this year, I, along with the Multnomah County Health Department, want to encourage you to get your flu vaccine now if you haven’t already been vaccinated. (Note: Please visit this webpage from the CDC for a list of individuals for whom the flu vaccine is contraindicated.)
The flu vaccine this year has been reported to be a very good vaccine against the current strains of influenza. It takes approximately two weeks to develop immunity to influenza after getting the flu vaccine. So the sooner you get your vaccination the more protection you will have when the students return.
The LC Student Health Service is currently out of flu vaccine. We are ordering a limited amount of additional vaccine. We do not know when the additional vaccine will arrive due to the rush on vaccine in heavily affected areas. Some local Portland pharmacies have limited supplies.
To avoid the flu, remember always:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- If you are sick with a flu-like illness stay home.
If you need more specific individual consultation about your health care needs, we encourage you to contact your health care provider.
Best wishes for a healthy spring semester!
Bess Austin, FNP
Director, Student Health Service