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No One's Immune

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Rates of healthcare provider vaccination hover at 42%, which has not budged much in the past 10 years.

One health system that is requiring all staff members to be vaccinated for the seasonal flu by November 1 is Marshfield (WI) Clinic. Mandating vaccination for H1N1 hasn't been discussed and won't be until the CDC confirms there will be H1N1 vaccine available, says Bruce Cunha, RN, MS, COHN-S, manager of employee health and safety.

Reported Sept. 3 by Heather Comak for HealthLeadersMedia.com

Swine Flu Prep Helps Hospitals Brace for Fire-Caused Respiratory Illnesses
Hospitals downwind of Southern California's wildfires are preparing for an onslaught of patients with respiratory problems as airborne debris exacerbates chronic conditions like heart and lung disease. But they say they're ready.

"Fortunately, we have the experience of preparing for influenza to help us with this," says James Lot, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California. "We're well stocked with respirators and masks and other supplies like that."

Lott says that hospitals—especially those immediately downwind of the fire lines, such as Citrus Valley Medical Center and Foothill Presbyterian Hospital—are being regularly surveyed and so far have not reported a surge in patients.

Only the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center has reported a slight increase in patients, and that may be because of some very early cases of influenza, not because of the wildfires, Lott says.

Reported Sept. 1 by Cheryl Clark for HealthLeadersMedia.com.

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