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Flu bug raises its ugly head in Oregon

Kaiser Permanente North-west reported a case of the flu in a 34-year-old Washington County man, who was not hospitalized and is recovering at home, Oregon Department of Human Services officials said Tuesday.

'This tells us that flu has arrived and we expect to see more cases in the coming weeks,' said state epidemiologist Dr. Mel Kohn. 'If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, now is a good time to do so. Vaccination is far and away the best way to protect yourself from influenza.'

Oregon is part of a national campaign sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage widespread flu vaccination.

According to the department, Oregon has more than 1 million injectable doses of flu vaccine available and 17,340 doses of the nasal spray FluMist.

Anyone could benefit from a flu shot, the department said, but the vaccination is recommended especially for:

n Children aged 6 months to 5 years

n People 50 years of age and older

n People of any age with chronic medical conditions

n People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

n People who live with or care for people at high risk of complications

n Healthcare workers

Symptoms of influenza include abrupt onset of high fever, headache, sore throat, cough and muscle aches. Unlike other common respiratory illnesses, it is associated with extreme fatigue and loss of appetite lasting several days.

State health officials estimate almost 450 Oregonians die each year from the flu. Nationally, it kills more than 36,000 annually