BEND, OR -- Central Oregon may already be on the back end of this year’s flu season. "We can see trends over the years and flu hit us early, this year. Really, the highest peak we saw was at the end of December, which is rare," says Heather Kaisner, with Deschutes County Public Health. "Usually, we peak around early February for flu cases. And, I remember hearing about a lot of sick people over the holidays, and a lot of visits to the ER. The last couple weeks, those numbers have been going on the decline."
But, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, yet. Kaisner tells KBND News it’s not too late to get a flu shot. "[Last year,] We didn’t peak until March; we had a late flu season, last year. So, I don’t want to give a drop-dead date of ‘no vaccine needed,’ because we could still see cases into March." She admits weather-related school closures could have served to keep infected children from sharing germs in the past month. "What we have seen in our data is that those being affected by flu this season are more of the elderly; we haven’t seen very many children. It could be interesting now that school is back in session, what’s going to happen? Are we going to see another little blip and a peak in flu? It’s just kind of a wait and see." Kaisner says there have been flu outbreaks in at least two local retirement communities, this season.