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Hospitals may help spread flu pandemic
U.S. hospitals could contribute to the spread of influenza during a pandemic because most do not follow good hygiene practices, a group reported on Thursday.
Their report, combined with a Congressional Budget Office report showing a pandemic could cost the U.S. economy $675 billion, adds to an increasingly dire picture being painted of what a bird flu pandemic would look like in the United States...
Many reports have shown that hospitals can be a source for spreading such diseases, because health care workers fail to follow even basic hygiene practices such as washing their hands after touching any patient or piece of equipment.
A report from the National Center for Policy Analysis predicted that unless hospitals tighten procedures quickly, they could contribute to the spread of H5N1.
"Shoddy infection control is poor preparation for flu and poor homeland security as well," said Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York who heads the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, a group that campaigns about hospital infections and which helped write the report...