H1N1 Flu Spurs Officials To Take Action in San Joaquin, L.A. Counties
On Tuesday, San Joaquin County's board of supervisors declared a local state of emergency in response to an escalation in cases of H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, the Stockton Record reports.
The declaration authorizes county public health officials to use "extraordinary action" to:
- Hire more health workers;
- Obtain necessary drugs; and
- Procure masks, ventilators and other protective equipment.
Karen Furst, county health officer, said local health agencies also are working to secure more supplies of the H1N1 vaccine.
Since April, the county has reported 154 H1N1 cases that required hospitalization and nine deaths from the virus. Officials say thousands more county residents likely have contracted the flu (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 11/11).
Few Black L.A. County Residents Seeking H1N1 Vaccines
In related news, Los Angeles County public health officials recently reported that relatively few black residents are taking advantage of the city's no-cost H1N1 vaccine clinics.
In the South Los Angeles service area, blacks account for 32.4% of the population but received 10.89% of the H1N1 vaccine, according to county records. Nationwide, blacks account for 9% of the population but received 2.57% of initial H1N1 vaccinations.
The reports come less than a week after the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California released a poll finding that black California residents were less likely than other groups to say they planned to obtain the H1N1 vaccine.
Public health officials have expressed concern about the trend because they say blacks often have a higher risk of complications from the virus.
Jonathan Fielding, county public health director, said officials will work with local churches, organizations and schools in the black community to promote the benefits of the H1N1 vaccine (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 11/11).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.