05-21-2018  9:39 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a Tibetan language activist to five years in prison for inciting separatism after he appeared in a documentary video produced by The New York Times.Tashi Wangchuk's lawyer Liang Xiaojun told The Associated Press that a judge in Qinghai province passed down...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a...

Sony invests in image sensors, acquires more of EMI Music

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to invest 1 trillion yen ( billion) mostly in image sensors over the next three years, under a revamped strategy to strengthen both hardware and creative content.Sony also plans to buy for [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion a 60...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his...

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska beat out 50 other women Monday to win this year's...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Flu symptoms chart
The Skanner News

Some 16 people in Oregon and Washington are thought to have died from the H1N1 flu so far this season, and health officials say almost everyone should get a flu shot to avoid the worst effects.

While many people remember the vaccine shortage of 2009, which caused higher infection rates as states struggled to obtain the necessary number of doses, this season there is no shortage.

In fact, the number of young people who are being hospitalized and even dying – in Bothell, WA., the virus claimed the life of a healthy 30-year-old woman, and a young boy in Oregon who had already been vaccinated – has health officials urging  younger people to get a flu shot.

Jennifer Vines MD, deputy health officer for Multnomah and Clackamas Counties and health officer for WashingtonCounty, says despite the widespread concern there is no evidence that this year’s flu season is worse than any other.

"Flu seasons are notoriously unpredictable. How many people get sick and how many people get severely ill depends on how many people are vaccinated or have pre-existing immunity, the general health of the population (individuals with underlying health conditions are more likely to have flu complications), and how good of a match the vaccine is for circulating strains in a given year,” she said this week.

“So I don't think we can say the flu is more virulent this year. Rather, this year is a reminder that flu can strike all ages and in some cases cause severe illness and complications even in otherwise healthy people. The flu vaccine is not perfect but is by far the most important thing people can do to protect themselves and their loved ones."

The number of people affected is hard to track for a variety of reasons, but all jurisdictions reported an escalating number of deaths and hospitalizations.

As of Tuesday morning, nine deaths are confirmed in WashingtonState, and one in Oregon, but officials warned that their statistics are not “real time,” and that the numbers will be updated at the end of the week.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Portland-area hospitals have identified seven H1N1 flu deaths so far this season, with nearly 180 hospitalizations; state health officials say they could not confirm the number of adult deaths in Oregon because they do not track adult fatalities, only pediatric ones.

“It’s easy to get complacent about the flu, since we see it every year, but it brings real hardship and dangers,” said Jeff Duchin, MD, chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization for Public Health in Seattle & King County. 

“Catching the flu can not only disrupt your life, it can be severe enough to send you to the hospital.”

Jonathan Modie, spokesman for the Oregon Public Health Division, says the most important thing to know about the situation is that the vaccine is effective for most people.

“The thing to keep in mind is that during the pandemic we didn’t have a flu vaccine for H1N1 and when we did it was in short supply,” he said.

“We now have a vaccine that we and the CDC believe is very affective against H1N1 and the other strains of flu that are currently circulating out there.”

It takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, but the season has not peaked yet, so officials say it’s not too late to get it.

Experts say the key things to know this season include:

Younger adults face a greater risk of severe illness than usual. That’s because the dominant flu strain this year is similar to the 2009 flu virus. Compared to other flu strains, it causes higher rates of illness and death among young and middle-age adults, including those with no underlying health conditions.

Pregnant women should get vaccinated at any stage of pregnancy.  Vaccinating during pregnancy protects not only the mother but the fetus and child as well, experts say. That’s especially important because newborn infants can’t be vaccinated until they're six months old. 

 Anyone who lives with or cares for an infant younger than six months should also get vaccinated to protect the infant from getting flu.

 Other members of the community at increased risk for severe influenza include the elderly and people who have long-term health problems, like diabetes, asthma, and heart or lung problems.

“Anyone six months and older who has not yet been vaccinated this season should get an influenza vaccine now to reduce their risk of illness,” said Duchin. 

 Flu vaccine is your best protection, but antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, can help reduce symptoms.

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