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Walden issues statement on coronavirus

Rep. Greg Walden
KTVZ file
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

Says greater U.S. concern now is the flu, urges vaccinations

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., Republican leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee, helped lead a congressional briefing for members of Congress on the 2019 novel coronavirus earlier this week.

“What we know so far is that there are only five cases of the Coronavirus in the U.S. and no human-to-human transmissions in the U.S.” Walden said in a statement Thursday. “However, there are nearly 8,000 cases in 31 provinces in China and human-to-human transmission occurring there.

"The National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine, but at best that will take a year. Others in the public and private sectors are working on therapies as well. I will continue to monitor the outbreak and share relevant information as it’s made available.”

As of Thursday, no cases have been identified in Oregon. However, there are five cases in the U.S., including one in neighboring Washington, as well as Illinois, Arizona, and two in California.

Currently, in the United States, the greater health concern is from the flu, the congressman said. In December, at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the nation’s preparedness for the flu season, Walden urged Americans to get their flu shot.

“In addition to the threat of Coronavirus, let us not forget that more than 8,000 Americans have already died from the flu this year,” Walden cautioned. “Get your flu shot now.”

The population most at risk for flu-related complications are senior citizens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who are 65 years and older accounted for about 70 to 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths in recent years and between 50 to 70 percent of seasonal-flu related hospitalizations. 

Learn more about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus here. 

Find out where you can get your flu shot here.

Veterans can receive free flu vaccines from all Department of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Centers and community-based outpatient clinics, learn more here.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest
rep. greg walden

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