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'Working Adults' Hit Hard By Flu Season This Year

OPB | Feb. 20, 2014 2:46 p.m. | Updated: March 27, 2014 10:43 a.m. | Portland

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As Oregon’s flu season winds down, authorities say it was a tough one for those not usually at high risk.

The very young and very old are usually at highest risk from flu.

But this year, it was the working adult population that was hardest hit. For the last three years, that group has accounted for about 35 percent of flu hospitalizations.

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they accounted for 61 percent.

“It’s actually been a bit higher in Oregon,” said Dr. Anne Thomas with the Oregon Public Health Division.

“They actually account for just under 70 percent of the hospitalizations. Where as only six percent of the hospitalizations were in children under 18 and about a quarter of the cases were 65 or older.”

Thomas says it goes to show everyone should get vaccinated, not just those thought to be at high risk.

A study by the CDC finds that the flu vaccine’s effectiveness rate this year was 61 percent.

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