posted by GeoT
“The H1N1 is moving rapidly, as expected. By the time regions or healthcare systems recognize they are becoming overburdened, they need to implement disaster plans quickly”
By VOA News
24 October 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a proclamation declaring the H1N1 swine flu virus a national emergency.
A White House statement Saturday said the proclamation advances the nation’s capability to respond to the pandemic.The statement said it enhances medical centers’ ability to handle a surge in swine flu patients by allowing certain standard federal requirements to be waived in particular cases.
Earlier this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate panel that $3 billion had been forwarded to hospitals around the country to help deal with the surge of flu-related hospitalizations.
The World Health Organization says about 5,000 deaths attributed to H1N1 influenza have been reported worldwide. U.S. health authorities say more than 1,000 people have died from the virus in the United States and more than 20,000 people have been hospitalized.
U.S. health secretary Kathleen Sebelius, told the Senate panel that while swine flu is widespread in the nation, the country is better equipped now than at any other time in history to deal with it.
She said problems delaying production of the vaccine for the virus have been corrected and that it should be available by early November to any American who wants to be vaccinated.