Hospitals Adhere to Emergency Declaration
On Saturday, President Barack Obama issued an emergency swine flu declaration which focuses on preparation. Here in Florida, hospitals are anticipating an increased number of swine flu cases and are applauding the president’s action. The declaration will allow hospitals to treat more patients if the pandemic gets worse.
By the end of flu season, experts predict as many as one in four Floridians will have fought a battle with the H1N1 virus. The Florida Department of Health (FDH) is already running low on the H1N1 vaccine, but is expecting more soon.
“We are currently experiencing a shortage in terms of what we would have originally expected from the CDC at this time,” said Susan Smith of the FDH. “However, we are not concerned. We still anticipate those who are interested in getting the vaccine will be able to do so.”
President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration this weekend to prepare hospitals in case of a surge of new cases. This declaration allows hospitals to ignore some government regulations, allowing staff to treat patients more quickly. The Agency for Health Care Administration says hospitals and nursing homes would be allowed to waive the rules on a case by case basis.
In Florida, about a thousand H1N1 patients have been hospitalized and 131 of those patients lost their battle with the virus. The Florida Department of Health is expecting 1.5 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine by the end of the month.
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