October 2nd, 2009 5:33 pm | by Anvi Bui News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

The Latest From Oregon's Swine Flu Experts


Been thinking about swine flu lately? So have a group of healthcare and business professionals who spoke today at Portland City Club's Friday Forum about the swine flu's possible health and economic effects in Oregon, as well as the prevention measures being taken locally.

Panelists said the first shipments of the vaccine should begin “trickling in” next week to Oregon, though that initial batch may allow certain counties to receive just 100 doses, which raises the challenge of having enough supply. However, enough doses to vaccinate all priority groups in Oregon should arrive by mid-to-late October, the panelists said. Priority groups include children and young adults, who seem to be most susceptible to the virus. Pregnant women and people with underlying conditions have added increased risk of complications from the vaccine and should speak to their healthcare provider before getting vaccinated.

The swine flu, known as the H1N1 flu, had its first confirmed case in Oregon in April.

According to Dr. Mel Kohn, Director for Public Health in Oregon, the seasonal flu tends to have a dramatic drop in cases during the summer. And health officials expected swine flu to do the same. “But it didn't take a summer vacation,” says Kohn. Instead, health officials have seen an increase in cases in the past two weeks. “Once flu season starts and kids are back in school, we're going to see a lot more illness.”

Kohn says the best way Oregonians can defend themselves from the flu is to get vaccinated. To get the most up-to-date information regarding the flu vaccine and flu cases in Oregon, go here.
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