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article imageGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger orders H1N1 mask stockpile released

By KJ Mullins     Oct 22, 2009 in Health
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered that at least half of California's emergency specialized mask stockpile be released in an effort to fight H1N1.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger purchased the stockpile of N-95 respirators in 2006. The masks are designed to prevent airborne germs from entering those who are wearing them. When the masks were obtained there was not a public health threat.
There is thought to be about 25 million masks in the stockpile.
The vaccine for H1N1 has been hard for the state to obtain. At this time California has received 1.7 million doses.
Doctors are reporting a steady increase of the number of flu patients says CBS 5.
Local health departments will be dispensing the masks to clinics and hospitals for health care providers, reports KION.
As the flu pandemic increases in the United States health care providers are putting plans into action. Some of the plans include restricting hospital visitors and setting up isolation rooms for suspected H1N1 patients entering emergency rooms.
In some areas of the nation the swine flu has increased so much that hospitals are setting drive-through triages for flu symptom patients.
In Austin, Texas the Dell Children's Medical Center has two outdoor tents in place for suspected flu patients.
Eastern Group Publications reports:
The hospital, in a written release, asked people visiting a hospitalized loved one to not bring children with them. “Children are at most risk of getting H1N1 and can spread the disease more readily. It’s really for the children’s protection,” said Brian Johnston, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department at White Memorial Medical Center.
Emergency rooms are filling up, with as many as 100 patients at a time in some areas.
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