Obama declares H1N1 a national emergency - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/24/09

Obama declares H1N1 a national emergency

Posted by Ben Lawson  - bio | email

WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) - President Barack Obama is making what administration officials are describing as a pre-emptive move against the swine flu. He's declaring the pandemic a national emergency, in an effort to speed treatment to thousands of infected people.

Administration officials say the effort is designed to make decisions easier when they need to be made. The declaration authorizes Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules when opening offsite hospital centers, and hospitals could change patient rules to allow them faster access to treatment, with government approval.

Obama says the months-old outbreak which has killed more than 1,000 in the U.S. continues to evolve, and with the rates of illness rising rapidly, he says there's a potential to "overburden health care resources."

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Key Facts About H1N1 Flu from CDC
The CDC continues to take aggressive action to respond to an expanding outbreak caused by H1N1 (swine flu).

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