While most Oregonians wait for the H1N1 vaccine to made available, the number of H1N1 flu cases continue to rise.
As of Oct. 20, the state reported 70 Jackson County residents hospitalized with one death while Josephine County had 26 hospitalized with four deaths and Klamath County reported 17 had been in the hospital with one death. There have been two critically ill transported to Portland for specialized breathing treatment.
The total hospitalized in Oregon numbers 449 with 15 deaths. Between mid April and Aug. 16 there were 116 Oregonians reportedly hospitalized in 11 counties with a dozen deaths. Since Sept. 1, a total of 326 people in 20 counties have been in the hospital with eight deaths.
Worldwide since the swine flu was first identified in mid April there have been 400,000 confirmed cases worldwide with 4,700 deaths.
Each week school districts report absences. JR Rothenberg, School Health Program Manager for the Community Health Center and District 9 provided the following information as of Oct. 23:
District 9- 339 student absences, which is 8.2 percent
Central Point-129, 2.8 percent
Medford- 364, 3 percent
Phoenix-Talent- 75, 2.8 percent
Rogue River- 112, 10.9 percent
Dr. Kohn, acting director of Oregon Public Health Division, says “because the H1N1 flu season is expected to last well into the spring, the vaccine will be helpful whenever it arrives. But right now, our personal actions that spread H1N1 virus are more significant than ever.”
“Until the vaccine gets here we have to make sure we all stick with the basics. Please do not go to work or school if you are exhibiting symptoms of the flu. And keep washing your hands, covering your cough and doing everything you can to help slow down the spread of H1N1,” said Dr. Kohn.
Phone numbers for information are: Oregon Public Health Flu Hotline 1-800-978-3040, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and after hours, locally (541) 899-4251. Those lines are designed to help the caller determine if they need medical care. For vaccine information, there is a recorded information line at 774-6444.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent