Officials urge vaccine

Hood River Public Health is asking the community to get vaccinated for whooping cough.

Also known as pertussis, the illness is spread through the air by infectious droplets and is very contagious.

Coughing and sneezing are common means of its spread from person to person. Whooping cough can be very serious and can result in hospitalization, especially for the very young and the elderly, according to Lindy McCasland, R.N., Oregon Adult Immunization Project for Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties.

Complications from whooping cough that may occur include pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy, rib fractures from coughing and death.

The state of Washington is currently experiencing an epidemic. Oregon had 869 confirmed cases in 2012.

Many people, usually adults, remain undiagnosed but pass it along to others. Prevention by vaccination is the best way to stop whooping cough.

The Tdap vaccine is used to vaccinate adolescents and adults for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. It is recommended by the Center for Disease Control that all adults have one Tdap vaccine. The vaccine is especially recommended for pregnant women during their third trimester and anyone who will have contact with a young baby.

Tdap vaccine can be given at any time — your healthcare provider or local health department can determine whether you need it.

Vaccination is available through primary care providers, pharmacies and the health department. If you are uninsured contact the health department to find out if you qualify for low-cost or no-cost Tdap vaccine. Protect yourself; protect your family and friends; protect your community.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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