Flu season hitting hard in Oregon

736 people have been hospitalized with the flu this winter

Nurse B.K. Morris gives a flu shot to Winifred Quinn during a press event on the flu vaccine, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – It’s not even February, and this flu season has already sent more Oregonians to the hospital than the last one.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that 736 people have been hospitalized with the flu this winter. Only 443 were hospitalized during the last flu season.

The elderly, as usual, have been hit the hardest. They account for about two-thirds of those hospitalized based on numbers collected in the Portland area.

Dr. Ann Thomas, Oregon public health physician, says nearly all of the outbreaks affecting three or more people have been in long-term care facilities.

Public health officials say it’s still not too late to get vaccinated. It generally takes two weeks for a shot to take effect.