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Surprise: Gov't not ready for flu outbreak

After last winter’s debacle with flu vaccine, you’d think our government might be stepping up to prevent the problem next time. OK, you probably figured they are f*cking around up there in DC. Yep.

Half a million Americans could die and more than 2 million could end up in the hospital with serious complications if an even moderately severe strain of a pandemic flu hits, a report predicted on Friday.

But the United States only has 965,256 staffed hospital beds, said the report from the Trust for America’s Health.

…”The U.S. has not adequately planned for the disruption a flu pandemic could cause to the economy, daily life, food and supply distributions, or homeland security,” the Trust’s report reads.

“The U.S. lags in pandemic preparations compared to Great Britain and Canada based on an examination of leadership, vaccine development, vaccine and antiviral planning, health care system surge capacity planning, coordination between public and private sectors, and emergency communications planning.”

Health officials are aware of the warnings and say they are developing a plan. The heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and Health and Human Services Department are regularly called to hearings before Congress on the issue.

The Trust said more could be done to prepare now, including setting up plans to track an outbreak, stockpile antiviral drugs and other medical supplies and set up communications.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding