Obama declares H1N1 flu national emergency

Emergency Management Alert, October 27, 2009

President Obama has declared the H1N1 outbreak a national emergency, according to the New York Times.

The declaration allows hospitals to set up alternate sites for treatment if a surge of patients makes doing so necessary. The announcement only addresses hospital treatment, not vaccine administration. According to the Times, officials estimate that the virus has killed more than 1,000 Americans and hospitalized more than 20,000.

The declaration also allows Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, to give waivers to hospitals that need to execute their disaster operation plans due to a surge of flu patients. Executing disaster operations plans allows hospitals to transfer patients to other hospitals or satellite facilities.

Source: New York Times.

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