Resources for the H1N1 Emergency

Monday, October 26th, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

President Obama’s declaration of H1N1 as a national emergency late last week allows healthcare systems to quickly implement disaster plans if necessary. As health officials worldwide strive to separate H1N1 hype from reality, hospitals, governments, businesses and schools are bracing for swine flu fallout.

In a featured story in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update, nearly all ER docs who responded to an American College of Emergency Physicians survey are worried that their ERs won’t be able to handle an influx of additional flu patients.

England’s CMO reported that H1N1 cases doubled last week to 53,000 from 27,000 the previous week, during the same period when thousands of U.S. citizens queued up for a shot at a swine or seasonal flu vaccine. A Boston high school is closed through tomorrow due to high numbers of sick students. (The school Web site recommends that “students NOT co-mingle with each other” during this period.) Citing the vaccine shortage, New York last week backed away from mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers, who had earlier protested that the mandate was a violation of civil rights and put them at risk of serious illness and even death.

While flu vaccines may be in short supply, H1N1 and seasonal flu information and resources are not, and more than half of healthcare organizations who responded to a survey on patient education are teaching patients about H1N1.

Here are just a few helpful resources that can be found online:

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