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As Swine Flu Cases Rises, VA Said To Be Ready For Pandemic

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    As Swine Flu Cases Rises, VA Said To Be Ready For Pandemic

    In continuing coverage, WTVH-TV Syracuse, NY (4/27, 6:00 p.m. ET) broadcast that as the "number of confirmed swine flu cases continue to rise in the United States, hospitals are stocking up on antiviral meds and preparing for what lies ahead." Nancy Schmid, a Veterans Affairs hospital employee, was shown saying, "The VA has been prepared for a flu pandemic for some time now."

    WSTM-TV Syracuse, NY (4/27, 11:01 p.m. ET) broadcast, "Local hospital officials say they are getting ready for the worst," just "in case." For example, officials "at the VA hospital in Syracuse say they have a stockpile of 50,000 doses of medication used to treat the flu."

    KETV-TV Omaha, NE (4/27, 10:01 p.m. CT) interviewed Dr. Marvin Bittner, an infectious disease expert with the VA, who said, "In 1918, there was a very serious problem, because influenza struck a large number of people in the United States and around the world and it caused serious disease." Bu, according to KETV, Bittner "says there is some encouragement with how far healthcare has advanced in the last 90 years," which means that "we are...more prepared for a fast spreading virus."

    WOWT-TV Omaha, NE (4/27, 4:00 p.m. CT) broadcast that Bittner "says labs in Omaha's VA hospital and others around the country are continually working to find the cause of outbreaks of influenza flu strands like the swine flu." Bittner "says most hospitals have a plan already in place should this recent outbreak of flu become an epidemic."

    The Milwaukee Public Radio (4/28, Mikkelson) website says the Milwaukee VA Medical Center is among the Federal healthcare facilities in Wisconsin "on the lookout: for swine flu in Wisconsin. Dr. Ralph Schapira, who would coordinate the response, "says the VA hospitals have had a plan in place for dealing with pandemics since the September 11th terrorist attacks." Schapira also "says the best precautionary measures are to keep your hands clean and stay out of large crowds."

    Meanwhile, the website for KNXV-TV Phoenix, AZ (4/27) said that due "to swine flu concerns, some Valley hospitals have seen calls and walk-ins at the emergency room with people fearing they're infected," even though no "cases have been detected in Arizona." Phoenix Veteran Affairs Health Systems Infection Control Specialist Doctor Jeff Marx "said the hospital has received a few phone calls, and is...urging people to remain calm."

    VA Hospital In North Carolina Part Of Swine Flu Discussions.The Fayetteville (NC) Observer (4/28, Calhoun) reports, "State health officials have identified a handful of people" in North Carolina "who may have swine flu, but the cases can't be confirmed until Wednesday, said Dr. Jeffrey Engel, the state health director, at a news conference Monday." Also, "health officials from the Cumberland County Health Department" and a VA medical center "met Monday to discuss the outbreak, according to a news release."

    I think some folks at the VA HQ need to read a history of the 1917-1919 pandemic. It was the first time in history when huge amounts of people were moving from one continent to another and rapidly in crowded ships. Soldiers were sicker or injured and great carriers along with the famished and uprooted peasants of Europe.

    Just keep washing your hands and hankerchiefs.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.