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White House declares swine flu a nat’l emergency

President Obama signed a declaration Friday giving Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the power to bypass federal rules in dealing with the swine flu crisis.

The emergency declaration will help hospitals in several ways including keeping infected patients away from non-infected patients and shortening patient care protocol during hectic times.  Some hospitals have set up drive thrus and tent clinics to keep infected patients out of emergency rooms. Patients could also be required to answer fewer questions before receiving treatment to speed the process.

So far 11 million doses of the swine flu vaccine have gone out to hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. The White House hopes to have roughly 50 million doses available by mid-November and 150 million by December.


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