Government struggles to treat rapidly spreading H1N1 virus - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Government struggles to treat rapidly spreading H1N1 virus

WASHINGTON. - The government's trying to keep pace with a virus that's flooding emergency rooms.

"This time of year, we normally see lots of colds and flu, now everyone thinks it's H1N1," said Dr. Thomas Tallman of The Cleveland Clinic.

Not all hospitals are ready for the rush.

"Most hospitals don't have robust plans on how to increase on the capacity of their hospital to deal with a big surge of patients requiring intensive care," said Dr. Douglas White of the University of Pittsburgh.

The American College Health Association reports one in 500 students have the flu.

"They frequently socialize in large groups, in a fraternity, in a bar, in an apartment building and there's a lot of close talking, random kissing, sharing of drinking glasses," Dr. James Turner said.

This makes it easy to spread the virus.

So far, there are just fewer than 10 million doses of H1N1 vaccine ready.

Six million have been ordered.

The shots made their debut this week, but despite repeated safety assurances from the government, Americans are still skeptical.

A new Pew Research Center poll finds about half the country plans to get the vaccine and about half say they won't.

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