PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nine Oregonians have died this season, and the H1N1 strain, known as swine flu, is the dangerous one going around.
Mary-Catherine Allison knows first-hand that this flu strain is hitting young, healthy people.
Her 32-year-old fiance Ryan got what they both thought was a cold three weeks ago. One night, he woke up and couldn't breathe. They rushed him to the hospital in Medford. His lungs collapsed and his kidneys failed, and he was flown up to Emanuel Hospital in Portland.
Ryan was put in a medically induced coma and diagnosed with H1N1. Neither of them were believers in a flu shot - until now.
“It's a two-second pinch to keep you out of an ICU,” said Mary-Catherine Allison. "There are several people up there, young healthy people in medically-induced comas with H1N1 in the same situation as Ryan is.”
Ryan is improving in the ICU, but Legacy doctors say they're seeing 200 new cases of the flu every week, and it's hitting healthy, young people badly.
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center offered free flu shots to people from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and health officials said it was not too late to benefit from getting vaccinated.