Safety

H1N1 preparedness varies throughout country

Emergency Management Alert, June 16, 2009

New York City's health commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, has announced that a more serious strain of the H1N1 virus would stretch the city's resources too far, according to Newsday.com. The city has already suffered 15 deaths from the strain commonly known as "swine flu," and Commissioner Joseph Bruno of the Office of Emergency Management estimates that the city has spent more than $10 million on the virus.

The city's response thus far has been to track hospital visits, pharmacy sales of antiviral medications, school absenteeism, and primary care visits?as well as closing nearly 60 schools. Future costs could also include more hospital supplies and lab expenses, reports Newsday.

Meanwhile, Texas state officials have confirmed that 17 patients who have contracted the virus have since recovered. Officials from the state department said they had time to prepare because the outbreaks began earlier than most?in April, according to the Beaumont Enterprise (TX). In Jefferson County, TX, local health officials say they are prepared and well-funded for outbreaks.

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