So why all the buzz about a bad flu season? And Central Oregon hospitals have been filled to capacity, leaving patients stuck in waiting rooms for treatment.
Hospitals in England are now seeing very high rates of patients with flu, according to Public Health England figures. From Dec. 31 to January 6, ARC tested more than 500 patients with flu-like symptoms.
Harris said hospitals in almost half of Alabama counties are at 90 percent of their patient capacity.
And they're still climbing, she warned. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
But in an update on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said patient traffic for flu at USA hospitals was no longer skyrocketing the way it was in December.
Brock said the hospital has had about 50 flu patients so far this season, but it can be hard for people to identify when they actually have the flu and when they should get to a doctor.
"It looks like it's starting to level out", said the CDC's Lynnette Brammer, who oversees flu tracking.
From Nov. 19 to Nov. 25, 54 patients were tested for the flu.
This is key-do not reach for antibiotics because the flu is a virus.
Salem isn't the only city seeing a surge in ER visits.
Both those statements, as well as one released for USA Medical Center and USA Children's & Women's Hospital were clearly aimed at visitors.
Morris said it is important for people suffering from the flu to be treated by a physician. "The season has started early, and it is probably peaking right about now", Jernigan added.
"Whenever [H3N2] shows up, it causes lots of disease, lots of hospitalizations, lots of cases and lots of deaths", Jernigan said. That's compared to 1,304 in the last week of December, a record for the county. "At this point, (the current season) does not appear to be as severe", he said. That's a strain that is going to be associated with more cases, more hospitalizations and death.
Salem-Keizer Public Schools have seen a sharp increase in absences recently.
Health officials say getting the vaccine every year is the best way to protect against flu.
The Allegheny County Health Department is also urging anyone who has not gotten a flu shot to do so.
Health unit officials say canine influenza virus is of concern because it is highly transmissible between dogs, particularly in areas (such as Canada) where dogs do not have natural immunity from previous infection and where canine influenza vaccination is rare.