Hospitalizations for influenza are up 66% over the same period last year in Oregon, according to the Oregon Health Authority. They’re not just coming in through the emergency room, either; one clinician says his hospital’s urgent care and family practices departments, in addition to the ED, are all packed with flu patients. The spike in cases has put pressure on all practice settings, prompting the Health Authority to step up its efforts to promote flu shots, but also everyday hygiene like regular handwashing. Once patients have the flu, there’s not much providers can do except tell patients to go home and rest until it passes. It’s important for urgent care providers to be vigilant for pneumonia in patients who have the flu, however. As explained in a new article to appear in the February issue of JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, influenza is a key risk factor for community-acquired pneumonia. Inversely, pneumonia is the most common complication of influenza and leads to significant morbidity and mortality.
Flu is Rampaging Through Oregon, Filling Hospitals