Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:15am EDT

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Health department staffers scrambling to answer 100 calls a day. Harried hospital workers rushing to swab hundreds of sore throats. Out of practice school nurses learning how to give vaccines all over again.

City and state health department officials from across the United States say that while the H1N1 swine flu pandemic may be mild in terms of mortality rates, it is killing them in terms of workload.

And they are dreading the task of vaccinating tens of millions of people against the new virus beginning in October.

“We do not have the resources we need and we haven’t for a while,” Dr Jeffrey Duchin of Public Health in Seattle & King County and the University of Washington said in an interview.

“The problem is we don’t have a coordinated healthcare system in this country. We don’t have a national framework that allows these interventions.”

Duchin said the first wave of the pandemic, which swept across the United States in May and June, is just a foretaste of an unpleasant autumn flu season.

full story


•  Swine flu vaccine to be rolled out Sept. 30th (Link)

•  Bahrain delays school reopening (Link)

•  Better H1N1 protection for homeless needed (Link)

•  Macao’s confirmed cases of H1N1 flu climb to 2,348 (Link)
•  HK: Diabetic smoker succumbed to swine flu (Link)
•  Hong Kong unlikely to receive vaccine from mainland (Link)

•  Belatedly, Egypt Spots Flaws in Wiping Out Pigs (Link)
•  American University closed til Oct. 3 (Link)

•  Finland reports clusters in school (Link)

•  Greece’s Bakoyannis hospitalised with pneumonia (Link)

•  New Delhi authorities investigate treatment procedures at school (Link)
•  Death toll reaches 240 (Link)
•  Gujarat state reports 3 deaths yesterday, 6th in 2 days (Link)
•  Doctors concerned about high number of lung infections (Link)
•  Jammu-Kashmir reports 2 army personnel confirmed H1N1 sufferers (Link)
•  Gulbarga Child dies of A(H1N1) influenza  (Link)
•  Bidar woman tests positive  (Link)
•  Suspected A(H1N1) death in Bellary  (Link)
•  H1N1 causes 2nd death in Nagpur (Link)

•  The woman of Messina perhaps victim only of virus A/H1N1 (Link)

•  68 Kenyan students shut in over swine flu fears (Link)

•  Romania reports first school A/H1N1 flu infection (Link)

•  Second phase of A/H1N1 flu vaccine clinical tests starts in St Petersburg (Link)
•  1st confirmed death a ‘Bulgarian doctor’  (Link)
•  Russia registers first swine flu death (Link)

Saudi Arabia
•  Most expat schools to reopen on schedule (Link)

South Korea
•  Concerns from stock analyst about fraud and greed in testing and treatment (Link)

•  A/H1N1 flu breaks out in school in western Uganda, infecting eight  (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Ireland: Irish girl dies in Spain (Link)
•  Concern over misdiagnosed patients’ deaths of at least 3 (Link)

United States
•  Washington, DC: Obama – First family to follow rules on flu vaccine (Link)
•  Legal opinion: Asking library users to leave if they have H1N1 (Link)
•  US speedskater Apollo Ohno has (let’s not say)….  (Link)
•  US says it takes the threat to students/staffs of colleges ‘seriously’ (Link)
•  CO: Colorado school suffering 20% absenteeism (Link)
•  FL: Tampa-area mourns loss of 14 yr old ‘little brother’ to H1N1 (Link)
•  FL: Florida coach Urban Meyer in ‘panic’ mode over team’s flu bug (Link)
•  NY: Paul Smith’s College sets aside entire dormitory for potential H1N1 cases (Link)
•  IL: Plague-Linked Bacteria May Have Killed University Scientist  (Link)
•  MN: For any flu, keep kids home 7 days after fever breaks, Minnesota says (Link)
•  MO: Rep. Skelton Critical of Flu Coverage (Link)
•  OH: Suspected Case of Swine Flu at Lake Erie College (Link)
•  OH: Local College Deals With Swine Flu Case  (Link)
•  OR: H1N1 virus hits Portland Metro grade schools (Link)
•  PA: Royster sheds flu all over his teammates and other team… (Link)
•  PA: College confirms one case, suspects a 2nd case  (Link)
•  TX: Lubbock schools report early ‘influenza’  (Link)

•  299 new cases (Link)
•  Tandem disease outbreaks among children strain HCMC hospitals (Link)
•  2 deaths announced (Link)
•  All hospitals now can test for H1N1, only those w/ negatives must pay! (Link)

•  Swine flu ‘could kill millions unless rich nations give £900m’ (Link)
•  UN says world vaccine supplies may be inadequate, praise for donor nations (Link)

•  St. Jude Hospital Study links bird flu H5N1 to Parkinson’s symptoms (Link)

•  Canadian editorial – Leave us alone to enjoy life (Link)
•  Laurie Garrett: Surviving Swine Flu (Link)