Navigation Links
Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency
Date:10/24/2009

Action allows hospitals to better handle large numbers of patients as outbreak spreads

SATURDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama has declared the H1N1 swine flu a national emergency.

His proclamation, signed Friday night and released by the White House Saturday morning, will allow hospitals and doctors' offices to get legal waivers of federal rules so they can handle large numbers of sick people as the outbreak spreads.

"The H1N1 is moving rapidly, as expected. By the time regions or health-care systems recognize they are becoming overburdened, they need to implement disaster plans quickly," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said Saturday, according to the Washington Post.

The waivers, which will be issued by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, still require individual requests by the hospitals, Cherlin noted.

The goal, according to the Associated Press, is to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and make it easier for sick people to seek treatment and for medical personnel to provide it immediately. That could mean fewer hurdles involving Medicare, Medicaid or health privacy regulations, the AP added.

The H1N1 swine flu is now widespread in 46 states, and there have been 1,000 laboratory-confirmed deaths since April, according to the latest estimates released Friday by U.S. health officials.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news conference Friday, "We have already had millions of cases of pandemic influenza in the United States, and the numbers continue to increase."

At the same time, he said, production delays continue to hamper distribution of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

The vaccine is growing more slowly in egg-based cultures than manufacturers had anticipated, resulting in fewer available doses at this time, Frieden explained.

As of Friday, there were 16.1 million doses on hand nationwide, up from 14.1 on Wednesday, Frieden said. And there will be far fewer than the 40 million doses originally planned for the end of October, he added.

"Vaccine availability is increasing steadily, but far too slowly," Frieden said. "It's frustrating to all of us. We are nowhere near where we thought we would be by now. We are not near where the vaccine manufacturers predicted we would be."

The vaccine that is available comes in both nasal mist and injectable forms. The first doses were only the nasal spray, called FluMist, designed for healthy people 2 to 49 years of age. But now, more than half the doses are injectable, he said.

While children continue to be particularly vulnerable to the disease, Freiden said, "we are seeing it increasingly affect young adults as well as children. We are still not seeing significant numbers of cases among the elderly, and that's characteristic of this virus."

That's also a marked difference from run-of-the-mill seasonal flu, which typically poses a much bigger threat to the elderly.

There is encouraging news, Frieden said. The genetic makeup of the H1N1 virus hasn't changed, meaning the swine flu vaccine and the antiviral drug Tamiflu are a good match.

Frieden said the H1N1 flu would probably occur in waves, but "we can't predict how high, how far or long the wave will go, or when the next will come."

"We are now in the second wave of pandemic influenza and whether this will continue through the fall into the winter, whether it will go away and come back in traditional flu season, only time will tell," he said.

More information

To learn more about the H1N1 swine flu, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



SOURCES: John Treanor, M.D., professor, medicine, and chief, infectious diseases division, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Oct. 23, 2009, news release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Oct. 23, 2009, teleconference with Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Washington Post; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. IDFA Supports Obama Administrations Commitment to Encourage Schools to Provide More Low Fat Milk and Dairy Products in Schools
2. Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, Sponsors of 2010 Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative in Arizona, Cheer Obama Administration Action
3. President Barack Obama Joins President George H.W. Bush to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Points of Light Volunteer Movement and Extend the Call of Service to the Nation
4. The Obamacare Alternative: 33 State Think Tanks Announce Patient-Centered Health Care Reforms
5. New Audio Briefing Explains Obama Administration's Workplace Law Priorities
6. Union Members Reject Key Tenets of "Obamacare" - According to Recent Zogby/O'Leary Poll
7. Rate Regulation for Health Insurance: Biden, Obama Administration Should Look to CAs Model Law Which Has Saved Drivers $62 Billion Since 1988
8. New Poll: Americans Still Confused by President Obamas Health Care Plan -- Siegel+Gale Survey Finds Dramatic Lack of Understanding of Basic Points in Plan, Even Among Democrats
9. Obama - Care Parody Takes Look Inside Realities of Universal Health Care Plan
10. Are Obama Administration Policies Undermining Global AIDS and Health Responses?
11. Obama Interrupted at University of Maryland by Pro life Moderate Yelling: Liar!
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... Cranbury, NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... Cure®, the pre-eminent publication and community for those in the fight against cancer, ... was important in their success. HRA will release top-line findings in a ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... CALNOC, the nation’s first and only nursing quality ... conference – Empowerment, Value and Collaboration – in Seattle, WA on October 23, 2017. ... Mason Health System in Seattle since 2000. In addition to his role at Virginia ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... HealthPostures, the desk for standing ... sit stand solutions representative to the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show which is being ... that is garnering national attention is the Minneapolis Convention Center. , From its ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... East Setauket, New York (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... the main floor entrance and lobby of a new healthcare contact center in ... gleaming results. , One of the nation’s largest healthcare systems recently invested $51 ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Stem cell therapy ... The technology is so cutting edge, in fact, the U.S. Food and Drug ... procedures. However, successful patient outcomes in certain clinical stem cell procedures have shown ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , February 23, 2017 ... report on the global market for intraoperative imaging, ... presently valued at US$ 513.9 million. According to ... keep surging on the grounds of increasing adoption ... the field of diagnostic imaging for neurosurgeries. The ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Cardiac Prosthetic Devices ... over the next decade to reach approximately $8.9 billion by 2025. ... for all the given segments on global as well as regional ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 MabVax ... oncology drug development company, announces that it has ... Administration (FDA) authorizing the initiation a Phase I ... for pancreatic cancer. MVT-1075 ( 177 Lu-CHX-A?-DTPA-HuMab5B1) is ... MabVax plans to initiate the phase I clinical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: