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Emergency Declaration

October 26th, 2009 by flanews

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 presidents action. As Whitney Ray tells us, 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. Matthew Bennett doesnt like the odds. He and his wife are in the priority group for the first round of vaccinations.

We have a little eight week old at home so the doctor said to get it, said Matthew.

The Florida Department of Health 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. However, we are not concerned. We still anticipate those who are interested in getting the vaccine will be able to do so, said Smith.

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration this weekend to prepare hospitals in case of a surge of new cases.

The 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.

It would allow them to increase the number of beds they can offer. For hospitals it may allow them to set up an emergency site within a certain location in the hospital to allow greater service to patients, said Molly McKinstry, the Bureau Chief for the AHCA Bureau of Long Term Care Services.

In Florida about a thousand H1N1 patients have been hospitalized; 131 lost their battle with the virus.

Posted in Health, State News, Swine Flu | No Comments »

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