U.S. response to flu pandemic limited

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) study published November 10, reported a limited capability of the U.S. healthcare system to respond to a flu pandemic.
...if a flu pandemic were to occur in the next several years, the U.S. response would be affected by the limited availability of a vaccine (the best preventive measure for flu), as well as by limited availability of certain drugs used to treat severe flu infections, and by the general lack of surge capacity within our healthcare system.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt is also reported to have said Sunday in an AP story that the U.S. is "lacking the manufacturing capacity to provide 300 million doses of a vaccine for three to five more years."

The CRS 36 page study discusses a pandemic influenza, its history and current status as well as response, preparedness and planning in three sections: Understanding Pandemic Influenza; Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response; and, Issues in Pandemic Influenza Planning.

Pandemic Influenza: Domestic Preparedness Efforts
, CRS report, RL33145
(available in PDF, 164 KB, from Open CRS Network)



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