SEVERE FLU STRETCHES HOSPITALS THIN — THIS IS A VERY BAD OMEN
Hospitals Overcome With Patients Stretching Health Care To Its Limits
Helen Branswell | Stat News.com
A tsunami of sick people has swamped hospitals in many parts of the country in recent weeks as a severe flu season has taken hold. In Rhode Island, hospitals diverted ambulances for a period because they were overcome with patients. In San Diego, a hospital erected a tent outside its emergency room to manage an influx of people with flu symptoms. Wait times at scores of hospitals have gotten longer. But if something as foreseeable as a flu season — albeit one that is pretty severe — is stretching health care to its limits, what does that tell us about the ability of hospitals to handle the next flu pandemic? That question worries experts in the field of emergency preparedness, who warn that funding cuts for programs that help hospitals and public health departments plan for outbreaks and other large–scale events have eroded the very infrastructure society will need to help it weather these types of crises.
✷ MASSIVE FLU OUTBREAK? HERE’S THE REAL STORY THE MEDIA WON’T TOUCH
This Year’s Flu Vaccine Is Only 10% Effective
In case you haven’t been following the uproar over the flu outbreak, you’ve missed the fact that… health authorities admit this year’s flu vaccine is only 10% effective. But of course, they urge you to take the vaccine anyway. Why is this year’s vaccine ineffective? Because it’s made using chicken eggs, and researchers have discovered that the flu virus — which is placed in the vaccine — mutates in chicken eggs. Therefore, by the time a person takes the flu shot, he’s not being protected against this year’s seasonal flu virus. He’s being injected with a mutated virus that isn’t causing the flu this year and may even make a person with a compromised immune system sick with the new stain of flu virus.