Cuomo Announces State-Wide Public Health Emergency
Northern, WI 1/14/2013 (usdailystock) – Saturday saw Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor announcing a state-wide public health emergency. Nine out of ten regions in New York have been affected by the worst flu outbreak that the US has seen in several years. On Friday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cited the death of 20 children across the country and the hospitalization of 2,884 influenza patients. This elevated flu activity in nine out of the 10 regions in the US has set the alarm bells ringing.
Change of tactics
As an immediate counter-attack measure to curb the spread of the disease, Cuomo passed a temporary executive order permitting all pharmacists to administer flu-shots to patients in the 6months-18 year age bracket as well as the existing 18+ one. Express instructions were given to all state officials to overstep red-tape and provide people immediate access to flu vaccines and citizens were urged to immunize themselves against the flu. On Wednesday, Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston followed suit and announced a Public Heath Emergency in the Massachusetts city as a result of the 10-time increase in flu cases than the previous year.
Stringent hospital-admission restrictions and additional facilities have been set in place to accommodate a larger number of patients genuinely in need of medical attention. Non-epidemic years in the US see thousands of flu-related deaths. Outbreaks such as these result in an excess of 7.2 percent deaths annually and have the potential of turning into a full-scale epidemic.