Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Washington DC's Health Care Facilities Would Be Shattered By Pandemic

From MSNBC :
"U.S. flu experts are resigned to being overwhelmed by an avian flu pandemic, saying hospitals, schools, businesses and the general public are nowhere near ready to cope.

"Money, equipment and staff are lacking and few states have even the most basic plans in place for dealing with an epidemic of any disease, let alone the possibly imminent pandemic..."
* 500,000 people estimated to fall ill at a 10 percent infection rate in Washington, DC, alone, while some estimates suggest pandemic bird flu infection rates could be as high as 60%.

* 100,000 people would need to hospitalised and isolated. Washington, DC, has 7800 standard hospital beds, already filled to capacity with everyday patients.

* Recent poll suggests more than 60% of health care workers would not go into work if they thought there was a risk of infection. At least 25% of all staff expected to stay home to care for sick family members.

* One 600 bed hospital overloaded with pandemic flu patients would need a supply of 1.6 million face masks for a mere six week period. The US government's pandemic flu plan suggests an outbreak would last six to twelve months. Face masks are already in short supply in the US.

No comments: