Central Oregon Weekly H1N1 influenza update

The H1N1 vaccine continues to trickle into the state. So far, Oregon has received about 6 percent of the vaccine necessary for the people in priority groups, which accounts for about half of Oregon’s population.

“We know that there isn’t enough H1N1 vaccine for everyone right now,” says Dr. Mel Kohn, director of Oregon Public Health Division. “We want those at the highest risk to go to the front of the line.”

Five private manufacturers are delivering the vaccine around the country as soon as it is produced. In Oregon, counties and tribes request the supply and decide how to distribute it to individual health care providers and clinics. The amount of vaccine is allocated to counties on a per-capita basis.

“Even if you don’t get vaccinated right away, there is still value in getting one eventually,” says Dr. Kohn. “It’s likely that H1N1 will continue into the spring, so it’s not too late to get protection.”

For most people, a case H1N1 flu is no worse than seasonal flu, lasting about 7-10 days with the vast majority of people getting better without seeking medical attention.

Since Sept. 1, 2009, 482 people in 24 counties have been hospitalized in Oregon with influenza-like illness; 15 people in eight counties have died.

Oregon Public Health has activated the emergency operations center full time to coordinate the state’s response to pandemic H1N1 and ensure that the most up-to-date information is available. The center is working closely with local health departments and monitoring hospital capacity and supplies.

Hospitals and health care providers in some Oregon counties have experienced a surge of patients, but so far there is enough capacity to care for people with symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization. On Oct. 26, President Obama declared a national state of emergency in response to pandemic H1N1. This action allows hospitals to waive certain regulatory requirements so they can respond better to the emergency, such as making it easier to transfer patients between facilities.

“Until the vaccine arrives be patient, proactive and calm,” says Dr. Kohn. “Protect yourself and others by washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when you’re sick. We’ll all get through the flu season by working together.”

Huge coho run will help feed Oregon’s hungry

CLACKAMAS, OREGON – Oregon’s hungry will fare a little better this year, thanks to an extraordinary run of coho salmon.

Thousands of surplus coho are being processed at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fish hatcheries along the North Coast and Columbia River in preparation for distribution to the hungry through food banks around the state.

A coho salmon makes its way up Cedar Creek on the way to ODFW’s Sandy fish hatchery. (Photo by Rick Swart/ODFW)
A coho salmon makes its way up Cedar Creek on the way to ODFW’s Sandy fish hatchery. (Photo by Rick Swart/ODFW)

“These huge runs of coho couldn’t have come at a better time, with a down economy and Oregon facing historically high unemployment rates,” said Bill Otto, manager of ODFW’s North Fish Hatchery Group.

For the past two weeks, ODFW staff, American Canadian Fisheries employees and volunteers at six hatcheries have been putting up to 2,000 fish a day on ice in plastic containers known as totes and turning them over to the Oregon Food Bank.

“This is a lot of fish, and there are a lot more on the way,” said Ken Bourne, manager of ODFW’s Sandy fish hatchery. “What would we do with these surplus fish if we didn’t have the Oregon Food Bank?”

The totes are taken from the hatcheries by semi-truck to American Canadian Fisheries’ processing plant in Bellingham, Wash., where the fish are filleted and flash frozen for free in preparation for distribution to 20 regional food banks around the state next March

“It’s not often that we have the opportunity to get this kind of premium protein for the families we serve,” said Dan Crunican, food resource developer for the Oregon Food Bank.

No one knows for sure how much salmon will be processed this year – that depends on the coho, but everyone agrees it will be considerably more than the 22,000 pounds of fillets that were donated and distributed last year.

This year’s coho run is on track to be one of the largest salmon returns in the Columbia basin over the past decade, with 703,000 coho forecast to enter the Columbia at Astoria. That compares to an actual run size of 472,000 coho last year. This year’s run was large enough that fishery managers increased the bag limit to three fish a day and extended the season in many areas. Despite these measures, several ODFW hatcheries have been inundated with fish.

“We’ve expanded opportunities for sport fishermen, achieved our hatchery production goals and met our tribal obligations,” said Otto, who oversees 11 hatcheries in ODFW’s Northwest Region. “We are fortunate that we are able to help feed a lot of people who are hurting right now.”

The Oregon Food Bank Network is seeing a substantial increase in the number of people needing help, according to Jean Kempe-Ware, Oregon Food Bank public relations manager.

“The number of people seeking emergency food through the OFB Network is unprecedented,” she said.

The food bank and its affiliates across the state are currently feeding about 240,000 people a month, up from approximately 200,000 last year. More than a third of the recipients are children, according to Kempe-Ware.

Caring for yourself and others with the flu

SALEM, OREGON – As more people experience flu-like symptoms that could be pandemic H1N1 influenza, Oregon Public Health officials are reminding people of what they can do to protect themselves and others.

“So far, the H1N1 flu is not more serious than regular flu, so if you are sick, stay home to avoid spreading it to others and take good care of yourself,” says Mel Kohn, M.D., Oregon Public Health director. “If you have other conditions that put you at high risk or if symptoms get serious, that’s when you should call your doctor.” (See list of conditions below.*)

Public health officials are asking people to take the guidelines seriously about staying home, says Kohn.

“The issue with this flu is not that it’s more dangerous,” says Kohn. “It’s that few of us have immunity until we get vaccinated. That means high absenteeism in our schools and businesses unless we all take this seriously and do everything we can to stop the spread.”

Kohn reminds people that staying at home when sick means not leaving your residence except to seek medical care in the rare cases that it is necessary. Ill people should avoid normal activities including work, school, travel, shopping, and social and public gatherings. They should stay home for at least 24 hours after fever (over 100 degrees) subsides. While at home, they should get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, cover coughs and sneezes, and watch for warning signs that might indicate the need for medical attention.

Most people will recover completely on their own after a week or so of illness and don’t need to see a doctor.

Some health conditions increase the risk of severe illness from influenza:
* Pregnancy;
* Long-term aspirin therapy in children and adolescents (aged 6 mos.–18 yrs.);
* Chronic lung disease (including asthma), heart, kidney, liver, blood, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes);
* Immuno-suppression (including that caused by medications or HIV);
* Any condition (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizures or neuromuscular disorders) that affects respiratory function or handling of respiratory secretions or that increases the risk for aspiration; and
* Residence in a nursing home or other chronic-care facility.

Also, children aged 6-59 months (up to 5 years) and adults aged 65 years and older are considered at increased risk for severe illness from influenza.

People who have severe illness or are at high risk for flu complications should contact a health care provider who will determine whether treatment is needed. If you are directed to see a health care provider, ask if the facility has any special procedures for flu sufferers who visit.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Fast breathing or trouble breathing;
• Bluish or gray skin color;
• Not drinking enough fluids;
• Severe or persistent vomiting;
• Not waking up or not interacting;
• So irritable that the child does not want to be held;
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough;
• Fever with a rash.

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath;
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen;
• Sudden dizziness;
• Confusion;
• Severe or persistent vomiting;
• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and cough.

People with severe symptoms should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

The Oregon Public Health Division also has provided the following guidelines for people who must care for someone else with H1N1 influenza:

• Check with that person’s health care provider about any special care he or she may need for certain health conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, asthma or emphysema — and to determine if the ill person should take antiviral medication. Antiviral medications can lessen flu-like symptoms and can be helpful for people at high risk but they are not recommended for the general public.

• Treat the flu sufferer with over-the-counter pain and fever relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but never give children or teenagers aspirin, which can cause a serious illness called Reye’s Syndrome. Do not give children younger than 4 years of age over-the-counter cold medications without first checking with your health care provider.

• Avoid being face-to-face with the sick person and try to provide good ventilation. Wash hands after touching the sick person and keep surfaces clean. Keep the ill person at home but away from others in the house as much as possible, as least until fever (over 100 degrees) is absent for 24 hours. Make sure the sick person drinks plenty of liquids.

Public health officials do not recommend the use of masks in the community to prevent exposure to H1N1 influenza.

Vaccination is the best way to prevent against H1N1 as well as the seasonal flu. In addition, public health experts continue to advise the public to take basic precautions to help slow the spread of all influenza:
• Wash your hands;
• Cover your cough;
• Stay home if you are sick.

For more information, please visit the Oregon Department of Human Services Web site http://www.flu.oregon.gov or call the Oregon Public Health Flu Hotline: 800-978-3040.

Deschutes County Seeks Help in Shaping Land Use

Deschutes County has prepared a new draft of the Comprehensive Plan for the first time since 1979. Over the next three months, the Deschutes County Community Development Department will host 10 public meetings to discuss the new draft Plan to obtain feedback from County residents.

The Community Plans within the Comprehensive Plan are specific blueprints of how and where growth and development occur and how natural resources will be protected in the unincorporated areas of the County for the next 20 years. The draft Plan is based on public input received over the past year, changes to state law, coordination with other agencies and organizations and in-depth analysis of current conditions and trends.

The County is asking for comments on all aspects of the Plan, from its general themes to specific actions.

The following meeting address specific Community Plans that include growth and development affecting each community. Give your input and learn more about the Community Plan at these October meetings:

Date Tentative Topic Location Time
Oct. 19 Community Plan Terrebonne Grange Hall 6:15 p.m.
Oct. 20 Community Plan Tumalo Community School 6:00 p.m.
Oct. 29 Community Plan Three Sisters 7th Day Adventist School 6:00 p.m.

Note: This schedule is subject to change

Based on public comments received this fall, the draft Plan will be revised in early 2010. Public hearings are expected to begin in spring 2010.

A copy of the draft Comprehensive Plan as well as detailed information about the Planning Commission and community meetings are available at www.deschutes.org/cdd , under “Comprehensive Plan Update.”

First State Closure Day Happens on Friday

SALEM, OREGON – Most state offices will close on Friday, and 26,500 state employees will take mandatory, unpaid furloughs on that day, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) announced today.

The closure on Oct. 16 is the first of 10 closure dates the state has scheduled over the remainder of the current two-year budget period. Each day of closure will save an estimated $2 million in personnel costs. While the closures will affect both management and non-management employees, most management employees and many non-management employees will take up to four additional days of unpaid furloughs on a floating basis over the remainder of the biennium.

“We apologize for any inconvenience these closures might cause to the public, and we look forward to restoration of a full work schedule for all state agencies when the economy improves,” said DAS Director Scott Harra. “State agencies will do everything possible to minimize any hardship the closures might impose.”

Some workers will stay on the job.

Certain state employees who provide essential services in public safety will remain on the job as usual祐tate Police officers, corrections officers and certain state hospital workers, for example.

The designated closure days will not affect the Oregon University System, state courts or the legislative branch of government. These entities will remain open and will deal with budget reductions in other ways.

Oregon is not alone.

Harra pointed out that Oregon is not alone in using closures and unpaid furloughs. Nearly half the states have found that temporary closures and furloughs are efficient ways to save precious tax dollars while preserving the important functions and services of state government.

Unions, state negotiated which days to close.

Over the past summer, the state’s management team and the unions that represent state workers negotiated an agreement that specifies which days to designate as closure days. The negotiators took into account the need to minimize public inconvenience while keeping critical operations open and functioning.

“By taking this approach, we have avoided the costly and contentious legal battles that some other states have endured when public employees have contested the planned furloughs and closures,” Harra said.

State Web sites offer information on closures.

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services has published information about Friday’s closure and furloughs on the state’s Web site (www.Oregon.gov), along with a schedule of the remaining closure days. Members of the public can also find out which state offices will remain open on the closure days. Harra urged the public to check individual agencies’ Web sites for additional information.

Most agencies and programs will be closed on ten specific days during the biennium. Those closure days are:

2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009

2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010

2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011

The designated closure days will not affect the Oregon University System, state courts or the legislative branch of government.

For a list of agencies affected by the closures, see:

http://www.oregon.gov/furlough_closures.shtml

Rise Up’s 3rd annual “Art for India” is Coming to Boomtown

BEND, OREGON – You are invited to Rise Up’s 3rd annual “Art for India,” on Sunday October 25th. Join us for one of Bend’s largest art events. The evening will feature artwork by thirty of Bend’s most talented artists and features an additional youth mural by children & teens from our local schools.

This fun benefit helps fight discrimination and poverty by providing free education for over 250 underprivileged children in Bodhgaya, India.

This all age show starts at 5pm at the old Boomtown location, on the corner of Greenwood and Harriman (across from the Blacksmith restaurant). Come pick your piece of the canvas! Hosted by MC MOsleyWOtta and live music from Chris Chabot, Leif James and the Autonomics! Eats, Libations, Silent Auction, and a Media Presentation about the school in India.

Tickets are: $15-Adults, under 21-$10, and under 10-Free. Tickets are available online at: www.riseupinternational.com – at the door – or at Visit Bend.
We also have discounted group 5 & 10 packs. (5-$50, 10-$80)

If you would like to help volunteer for this event, Please contact us: 800-344-1540
or sheri@riseupinternational.com

Ochoco National Forest Controlled Burn Update

PRINEVILLE, OREGON – Forest Service Fuels Specialists from the Ochoco National Forest, with assistance from the Prineville Bureau of Land Management, are continuing with controlled burn projects through the weekend. With wet weather predicted starting as early as Tuesday, fuels specialists are taking full advantage of the current “weather window” and burning while the conditions are favorable.

Mill Creek
The “Rocky,” a 1,500-acre controlled burn, will take several weeks to complete. Fuels specialists have completed approximately 100 acres to date and plan to burn an additional 200 acres over the holiday weekend. The project area is located 14 miles east of Prineville and approximately 3 miles east/northeast of Mill Creek.

Mill Creek residents can expect smoke from the controlled fire to impact nearby Forest Service Roads, particular in the late evening and early morning hours when cool air causes the smoke to settle.

Maury Mountains
The “West Maurys Naturals,” a 1,700-acre controlled burn, is expected to take numerous days to complete. The burn will be completed in multiple blocks, as weather and conditions permit. The project area includes the Newsome, Florida, Sherwood and Friday Creek areas. Fuels specialists have competed 80 acres to date and plan to complete an additional 400 acres in the Sherwood and Newsome Creek areas over the holiday weekend

This weekend, fuels specialists will also work towards completing 50 acres of “Spears,” a 1,700-acre controlled burn near Rocky Butte, and 400 acres of “Zane,” a 1,000-acre controlled burn project located between Big and Little Summit Prairies.

Hunters and other forest visitors are advised to either avoid or use caution if traveling through recently burned areas, as there is potential risk of being hit by fire-weakened timber, rolling debris, or receiving burns from stepping into smoldering stump holes.

The Forest Service adheres to the guidelines of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Smoke Management Plan prior to conducting controlled burns. To view maps that show the fuels treatments planned on public lands in Central Oregon for fall 2009, visit our website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fires/index.shtml

Central Oregon Nutrition Education Volunteers Sought by OSU Extension

REDMOND, OREGON – Concerned about the food and shopping choices people are making that affects their health? If you enjoy helping people discover ways to improve their lifestyle then you might enjoy becoming an Oregon State University Extension Volunteer in Central Oregon for the Family Food Education Program.

Volunteers demonstrate healthy recipes at food pantries, WIC or DHS and help our OSU Extension staff educate our communities on health and nutrition.

To become a Nutrition Education Volunteer applicants take a 6 hour class on October 29th, 9 AM to 3 PM at the OSU Extension office on the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. Once trained, volunteers commit to 6 months of service in or near their local town in Central Oregon.

New volunteers also have the option to team teach or work in a support role. Read more about the program and see the application on the OSU/Deschutes County web site, http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/nutrition-education. You can print your own application or pick one up at the OSU/Crook, Deschutes or Jefferson County Extension office.

To apply, submit your application to Jamie Fitch, Education Coordinator by October 28th at jamie.fitch@oregonstate.edu or submit to the Deschutes County Extension office. If you have questions please call Jamie Fitch at 541-306-6135.

Central Oregon Nutrition Education Volunteers Sought by OSU Extension; Training Session in Redmond; Apply by October 28th

Oregon’s Unemployment System Overloaded

SALEM, OREGON – A network system failure at the State Data Center kept the Unemployment Insurance Claims system shut down for 12 hours on Sunday. This has resulted in a backlog of traffic that has overwhelmed the telephone systems that deliver calls to the Employment Department’s call centers.

Employment Department personnel are trying to help the State Data Center and the telephone companies correct the problem. We anticipate that the telephone problems will be resolved by sometime on Wednesday.

In the meantime—

1. Don’t call the Unemployment Insurance call centers today. The reduction in traffic will allow time for the telephone company and the State Data Center to make necessary repairs.

2. If you can, file your continuing claim or new claim online at www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs. WorkSource Oregon Employment Department offices throughout the state can make a computer available to you, if you don’t have access to one. The online claims system is working, but it is slow due to heavy volume.

3. Oregonians who may be eligible for new Oregon Emergency Benefits will be contacted by Employment Department staff via telephone from locations where we have operating telephone connections. Claimants who do not have current phone numbers in our system should update their address online at www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs or contact the call centers later in the week.

The current telephone outage will not affect the amount or duration of any eligible claim.

Kearney–Mombert of Bend tie for fourth at PNW Pro-Am

BANDON, OREGON – Professional Justin St. Clair teamed with Amateur Chris Polski to take the Pacific Northwest Pro-Amateur Championship and Brandon Kearney and Brad Mombert of Bend tied for fourth. 

St. Clair and Polski’s 11-under par total of 131 was good for a one shot victory over Brian Nosler-Jim Pliska and Rob Clark-Rob Matson. The winning margin was thanks to Polski’s 8 iron to 1 foot on the final hole.

Kearney and Mombert finished at 8-under par and a two round total of 134.

Contested since 1936, the Pacific Northwest Pro-Amateur championship features Seventy-four teams of one professional and one amateur competed in the four-ball format.

PACIFIC DUNES – 6489 Yards, Par 71 and BANDON TRAILS – 6635, Par 71