Flu season is hitting the Northwest hard this year, and Central Oregon seems to be among the hardest hit regions. 

The Oregon Health Authority tracks emergency room visits of patients that exhibit flu-like symptoms. Central Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge region have the highest percentage of likely flu patients in the state this season. That’s one reason that hospital beds in Bend are filling up fast.

Dr. Ann Thomas is a physician with the Oregon Health Authority. She said we’ve not yet seen a slowdown in the number of flu cases this season.

“What I would predict is that we are going to see flu circulating in Oregon for the next two months,” said Thomas. 

Thomas said it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The Oregon Health Authority especially recommends the vaccine for those most vulnerable, including pregnant women, the elderly and babies.