President Barack Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency. He has told his health secretary to suspend federal guidelines at hospitals and speed the process of treating infected people. In other words, he has directed Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, such as offsite hospital centers at schools or community centers, if needed. The speeded up process of treating victims would involve requiring patients in emergency situations to give less information and to quicken access to treatment.
The outbreak is still sweeping the land and has killed, so far, more than 1,000 people in the United States. On April 26, the administration declared swine flu a public health emergency. They immediately accepted the shipment of roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states across the country. At the time, there were 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. of people recovering quickly and easily. There was no vaccine against swine flu, but the CDC had taken the initial step necessary for producing one.
Obama wrote last Friday in his new declaration:
“As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic.”
As of last Wednesday only 11 million doses of vaccine had been shipped to health departments, doctor’s offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however according to new government goals, there should be about 50 million doses of swine flu vaccine out by mid-November and 150 million in December.
Those who think that the Swine Flu has flown are living in a dangerous bubble. It is more rampant now than ever. Almost 100 American children have died from H1N1 and 46 U.S. states have “widespread” flu activity.
The swine influenza, which is grown in chicken eggs, is indeed a worldwide epidemic. Globally more than 5,000 lives have been claimed by the nasty disease so far.