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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow FLU'S NOT HERE YET, BUT VIRUSES HAVE ARRIVED


It's not here yet, but it will arrive soon.

The dreaded influenza virus — flu — has not yet hit Union County, but the first case in Oregon was reported Tuesday in Yamhill County.

Flu may not be here, but there are plenty of viruses floating around.

"The flu season is from Dec. 1 through the end of March," said Dr. James Winde, Union County's public health officer.

People who think they have the flu are probably suffering from one of the hundreds of viruses that roam throughout the world.

One of the more common viruses is viral gastroenteritis, an infection that causes vomiting and diarrhea and can be sparked by a variety of viruses. Winde said that there has been a minor outbreak of viral gastroenteritis in Union County.

"When people get sick, they often say they have the flu, but that's not the case," the physician said. "We have seen no symptoms of clear-cut influenza."

Other viruses, such as rhinovirus, adenovirus and a new virus, the human metapneumovirus, often cause fever, respiratory infection and cold-like symptoms. Most are relatively mild, but elderly people and infants may have complications and the viruses can lead to pneumonia, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control.

"There are literally hundreds of different viruses that cause congestion, headache, fever," Winde said. "Usually they are very mild symptoms."

Sometimes people who have received the flu vaccine complain that the vaccine causes them to get the flu.

Not true, Winde said.

"We give the shots at the same time the viruses start circulating," he said.

Those who have not yet received flu shots can do so at the public health department of the Center for Human Development.

Public health nurse Trisha Blackman has said that plenty of vaccine remains.

To schedule an appointment, call 963-8801. Drop-in clinics are from from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays or from 8 a.m. to noon Fridays at the CHD on K Avenue.

— Alice Perry Linker

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