Flu now widespread in Oregon and Washington

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Most all of the flu cases in Oregon are indeed H1N1 this year, the most common strain seen nationwide. H1N1 is a mix of swine, bird, and typical human flu.

The big difference between the H1N1 of today and the H1N1 that caused the pandemic in 2009 is that this year's vaccine can protect against it.

Cases have risen dramatically in the past few weeks in the Portland-Metro area. During the last week of December, there were 81 hospitalizations from the flu in Oregon alone. The number of cases from just two weeks prior was only 18.

Additionally, a child has died of complications from the flu at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

A hospital spokesperson could only say it had a child death and couldn't share more information.

Last week, a state health report listed "zero" child deaths, so this would be the first child flu death of the year.

Younger adults, ages 25-49, are among the people getting hit hardest.

Thirty-year-old Kevin Stuckart got his flu vaccine shot at Fred Meyer this weekend. He told KATU, he'd "...rather not be out of work for a week or two. I've seen other people at work around me out for a whole week -- bedridden."

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