PORTLAND, Oregon (WJW) — Doctors say this flu season could become one of the worst in decades.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 3,000 people in the U.S. have died from the flu, and there have been 55,000 hospitalizations. It’s not just hitting vulnerable populations.
KATU reports Eric Valencia, 32, of Portland, Oregon, is a healthy man who skipped his flu shot. But now, he’s in the hospital fighting for his life.
Valencia has been in the hospital since Christmas. He at one point lost lung function. He thought it was just minor flu or a cold right before Christmas.
Dr. Jason Wells is a medical director with Providence Portland Medical Center. He said Valencia developed a complication, which is what made his flu so bad.
“Then he secondarily developed a strep-pneumonia which is one of the more common community-acquired pneumonia that we can see but when you put those two together it makes a dramatic lung injury,” he said.
According to Wells, while a flu shot won’t necessarily stop all strains of the flu, it can help. It can also help stop complications of the flu.
Doctors expect Valencia to make a full recovery.
The CDC estimates at least 27 children have died from the flu, breaking a record for this point in the season, for child flu deaths since the CDC began keeping records 17 years ago.