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Now’s the time to get a dose of flu vaccine

The flu has arrived in Oregon — and Hood River Countyhealth officials are urging citizens to get immunized against the seasonal virus.

Ellen Larsen, county health director, said this year parents are being encouraged to also vaccinate their children at the health department, 1109 June St. The walk-in clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and the cost for a shot is $10, although Health Net, Blue Cross and Medicare will be billed.

According to the Oregon Public Health Services, immunization is recommended for the following people:

* Persons 65 years of age or older.

* People suffering from a chronic illness.

* All women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.

* All workers who provide care for individuals who may suffer from complications with influenza.

* Children six to 23 months of age.

* Those living or caring for children under 6 months of age.

* Healthy citizens who want to avoid the flu or reduce transmission of the virus.

Larsen said there are plenty of vaccines available and local residents should be immunized now before they are exposed to the illness.



The vaccine will protect against the three strains of influenza most likely to circulate this season.

It also contains a new component against B viruses, which appeared in Oregon last May.

Influenza is an illness characterized by abrupt onset of fever, headache, sore throat, cough, and muscle aches. n Unlike other common respiratory illnesses, influenza is associated with a striking sense of unwellness accompanied by loss of appetite and weakness lasting several days.

* Rest and fluids are important during the acute illness.

* Antiviral drugs are available for both type A and type B infections to shorten the time to full recovery, but they must be started within the first 24 to 48 hours of illness. n Children should not be given aspirin because of the risk of Reye syndrome following influenza.

* For information about flu shot clinics in your area, call 1-800-SAFENET. Information about influenza can be found on the Web at:

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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