Calif. Officials Outline Preparations for Possible Surge in H1N1 Flu Cases
At a legislative hearing Thursday, officials from the California Department of Public Health spelled out steps they had taken to prepare for the flu season, including the expected spread of the H1N1 influenza, the Sacramento Bee reports (Tong, Sacramento Bee, 8/28).
Department officials said that as many as one in four Californians this year could contract the H1N1 influenza, and experts say the joint influx of the H1N1 virus and seasonal influenza could place significant pressure on the state's health care system (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 8/28).
DPH Gets the Ball Rolling
In anticipation of the flu season, public health department officials told lawmakers that the agency had:
- Stockpiled nine million antiviral treatment courses;
- Secured $50 million in federal funding;
- Begun using Internet social media to enhance the department's communication strategy; and
- Developed a model vaccination campaign for local health departments to use beginning in October.
In addition, health care providers will be able to register to become vaccine distributors beginning on Sept. 1.
Dr. Gil Chavez, director of DPH's Center for Infectious Disease, said providers who serve high-risk populations will get vaccine doses first (Sacramento Bee, 8/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.