President Obama has a new challenge to deal in the next 100 days of his administration; a previously unknown flu virus, which has the potential to kill. Last Wednesday night, the president highlighted efforts being made to handle the two wars, the bad economy, and other problems inherited from the Bush years. The president said: “I am pleased with our progress, but I am not satisfied.”
Now we have to add to the country’s list of problems a health issue: a new strain of the swine flu or as it is being called now the H1N1 virus. This week, the flu virus popped up in a number of states and several countries, prompting concern about a pandemic. Today Mexico, ground zero for this flu outbreak, reportedly cut its number of suspected deaths from over 170 to around 101. Only one death in the U.S., a toddler in Texas.
Today in his weekly address, President Obama discussed H1NI and what steps and precautions the government is taking: “The good news is that the current strain of H1N1 can be defeated by a course of antiviral treatment that we already have on hand. We began this week with 50 million courses of this treatment in the Strategic National Stockpile. Over the course of the last few days, we have delivered one-quarter of that stockpile to states so that they are prepared to treat anyone who is infected with this virus. We then purchased an additional thirteen million treatments to refill our strategic stockpile.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, I have also asked Congress for $1.5 billion if it is needed to purchase additional antivirals, emergency equipment, and the development of a vaccine that can prevent this virus as we prepare for the next flu season in the fall.” More of the president’s comments on the White House website.
Meanwhile, in California there are now 17 confirmed cases of H1NI, none of those are in Los Angeles County.