State of Emergency Declared As Swine Flu Spreads In US

With 20 cases of Swine Flu now confirmed in different locations around the United States, the Obama administration yesterday declared an official State of Emergency.
Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Richard Besser spoke at a White House briefing, declaring that all the cases in the US have, thus far, been mild. President Obama is being briefed on a regular basis as to the potential spread of the new strain of virus which has been blamed for the deaths of at least 81 people in Mexico.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for Homeland Security, announced, “At this point, a top priority is to ensure that communication is robust and that medical surveillance efforts are fully activated.”

A press release from Reuters provided the following additional information:

[Brennan] said beefed up monitoring would enable rapid identification and notification of any new cases that might occur in the United States and Mexico.

Besser said the CDC has confirmed one case of swine flu in Ohio, two in Kansas and eight in New York. There were already seven confirmed cases in California and two in Texas. Officials emphasized that the U.S. cases are not as severe as the cases that have been identified in Mexico.

Nevertheless, the officials recommended planning for potential U.S. school closures and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the United States would release some of its stockpiles of anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. She also said the United States would declare a public health emergency to start the flow of aid to states and communities that might be affected by the outbreak.

While we at Grand Rants will continue to post appropriate additional information as it becomes available, I think it should be stated clearly at this time that while we look to federal, state and local government for information, it is incumbant upon each of us to step up and take the necessary pro-active measures at the individual level to minimize both our own susceptibility to the virus as well as its spread. 

The biggest problem in the prevention of spreading any communicable illness comes from individuals who fail to act in a responsible manner either through poor hygiene practices or simply being uninformed. The CDC has made available for downloading and printing, guidelines for the steps we should all take to help prevent the spread of this and any other flu-virus. You can download these posters here.

For more information,including links to resources, please read my previous post on this topic. Michelle Malkin is also providing excellent coverage.

 Gerry Ashley



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