Jackson County public health officials are being overwhelmed with calls from people seeking information about the H1N1 influenza virus, and they're asking people to call the state influenza hotline at 1-800-978-3040.
"They're calling us and they're calling the hospitals," said Mark Orndoff, the county's director of health and human services. "At this point none of us is able to deal with that."
The state hotline is answered from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Counselors will provide guidance about when to seek medical attention, based on information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Similar information is also available on the state influenza Web site, flu.oregon.gov.
The CDC Web site, www.flu.gov/evaluation, has a series of simple yes/no questions that will help determine whether someone should seek medical attention.
The H1N1 vaccine is available at selected sites in Jackson County for people who are in the top priority groups, which includes: everyone aged 6 months to 24 years old; pregnant women; people caring for or living with infants under 6 months of age; people aged 25-64 with underlying medical conditions (such as asthma, immune deficiencies, etc.); and health care workers, emergency medical responders and frontline law enforcement and public safety workers.
The locations are listed at the Jackson County Web site: www.jacksoncounty.org under the H1N1 button under the "hot topics" section.
— Bill Kettler