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Tent city at Austin hospital opens to treat children with flu symptoms
A tent city is now up and running, treating children with flu-like symptoms at Austins' Dell Children’s Medical Center.
But while visits to the ER are up, doctors caution that's no indication of an epidemic.
“We have been very busy at Dell Children's Medical Center, seeing about 50 to 70 percent more patients than usual,” explained Dr. Pat Crocker, medical director of the center’s emergency department. “Right now, the patients we're seeing far and away have some other routine cold virus.”
He noted that NorthCom has prepared for a flu outbreak from Mexico. “Because Mexico is our neighbor and disasters do not respect national boundaries, we are focused on developing and improving procedures to respond to potentially catastrophic events such as pandemic influenza outbreak, mass exposure to dangerous chemicals and materials, and natural disasters,” he testified.
MEXICO CITY - Televisa is cutting all "nonessential" kisses from its soap operas. A song called the "Influenza Cumbia" is climbing the charts. Cringe-worthy swine flu jokes are spreading faster than the illness ever could.
As Mexicans lock themselves inside in fear of the virus, they can't help but have a little fun with it as well.
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White House says full pandemic "somewhat likely"
May 02, 2009 07:35am
The White House says the World Health Organization is "somewhat likely'' to raise its flu alert to the highest level, phase six, which would signal that the world is in a pandemic.
"I think it is somewhat likely that in the next few days that the WHO will raise their alert level. I think most people anticipate that,'' spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters at his daily briefing early today.
"That won't change our preparation because we have always planned for doing all that is necessary to ensure the protection of the American people,'' said Gibbs, who is President Barack Obama's lead spokesman.
When I sent out an email to close friends and family a couple of days ago, I had no idea it would be edited, twisted and sent around the world. Unfortunately, it has. I intended only to help my close friends and family
understand the seriousness of this epidemic. I was not making an official public health statement. To set the
record straight, I cannot speak more highly of Comal County Judge, Danny Scheele, Comal County School
officials, Dr. Overman, and the tireless staff of our County Health Department. They acted with great
professionalism and temerity, in choosing to close schools for 10 days, and I believe it is already having
an effect on the spread of the virus. Likewise, hospitals in the region, including my own, have been doing
incredible work in managing the patient care mission created by this epidemic. Administrators in my hospital
system are truly rising to the occasion, and I am proud of their work. I also think that at the national level,
excellent decisions have been made to support the fight against this virus. One of those excellent decisions was
to make certain that ample supplies of appropriate medication are available to manage an epidemic such as
this. Finally, the media is responding with some really excellent reporting on a complex, emotion-laden subject,
without fanning the counterproductive flames of fear and paranoia. If there is a message I would like to convey,
it is to take this flu seriously, and stay safe. How? By supporting the decisions of our public officials, and paying
close attention to CDC and Health Department announcements and guidelines. If we do that, we can win this
"Finally, I want to clarify that I did not, and do not feel that the media is intentionally misleading
anyone; rather, I think that this is a confusing, rapidly evolving situation, and it is easy for even
trained professionals to become confused about the subtle distinctions between microbiologic
confirmation and clinical diagnosis. I applaud the judicious, thoughtful reporting I have been seeing.
I think the media has been by and large very responsible and helpful throughout this epidemic.
Likewise, the Health Department and CDC are not misleading anyone, I think that again, the same
technical communication issues apply."