Archive for August 19, 2009

Camden County, Georgia Schools Experiencing Swine Flu Outbreak

From Jacksonville.com:

ST. MARYS – An outbreak of what health officials suspect is the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, is hitting Camden County schools.

Elaine Smiley, health systems coordinator for the school district, said about 10 percent of the estimated 1,000 Camden Middle School enrollment was absent Tuesday from the outbreak.

School nurses have also seen an increase in children who have flu-like symptoms, including fevers of more than 100 degrees, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, she said. Other symptoms include runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Smiley said she didn’t have estimates available on how many students have missed classes since the outbreak.

School officials sent notes home with students Monday asking parents to keep their children home if they experience flu-like symptoms until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Health officials estimate the disease runs its course in most children within five days.

The note also reminds parents to encourage their children to wash their hands often and cover coughs and sneezes as a way to prevent the spread of germs and illness. Health officials also recommend children be immunized when seasonal flu shots become available in the fall.

Smiley said parents have not been calling schools in large numbers, but Camden County Health Department officials say they have received many calls from residents with questions.

“It’s not a typical flu season,” said Debbie Melton, Camden County’s nurse manager for the Health Department. “It seems widespread. We’ve getting a lot of calls.”

Parents are told to keep their children home if they show symptoms and call their family physicians if they have questions.

Schools have been in session up there since August 5, so that first big outbreak of flu didn’t take long at all.

Swine Flu Could Cause 30% Absentee Rate in Schools

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Good Illustration of Government Health Care: Do You Want To Be Triaged By the Government?

From Matt’s Meditations:

I had a relative in England who died less than three months ago. I will relate her story. She was never in the best of health, but contracted tuberculosis a few years ago in her late 50’s. Since treatments are weighted in the National Health Service, it was determined that her care would not have a high priority. Her children were grown and did not need a mother’s care. TB treatment is expensive, and there is a limit in the UK of GBP 45,000 per patient per year excepting extraordinary cases. Someone somewhere sat down at a desk and factored in all of these variables. This treatment was delayed as are many kinds of treatment in the UK. Then 3 years ago, in a weakened state, she contracted cancer. Once again, the actuarial tables were consulted, and she received only limited care. At that point it was only a matter of time. She survived much longer than anyone would have expected. Other illnesses attacked her body. And then, one day, she finally passed on.

There were steps in this process. There were procedures and guidelines. And decisions made to limit treatment. In the United States, she would have had immediate and aggressive treatment for tuberculosis by government order. She probably would have stood a much better chance of surviving much longer with a reasonable quality of life.

The fact is that today, our government is highly constricted in its financial options. We have already indebted ourselves to a point where we can no longer finance that debt. Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which is controlled by the abovementioned leadership, will go bankrupt in 8 years. Social Security is predicted to do the same in the 2030’s. The CBO also has calculated that any of the bills now under consideration would cost as much as $1 trillion. So we have the two largest safety net programs yet undertaken by our government bankrupted by irresponsible government borrowing and poor management, and Congress own accountants predicting runaway costs. The president cited the Post Office as a comparison in speech to his undefined health care proposal in Portsmouth, NH last week. How can he and our leaders fail to see the analogies? How can they fail to see the potential for collapse and the terrible pain it might cause? This should be one of the most serious discussions of our time and there is no discussion.

The warning signs are all around us. We are faced with a health care system that needs reform. So many issues have been identified in the public debate that serious, measurable reform may now be possible. Ideas are coming from all sides. And yet we are faced with a pigheaded, partisan leadership that is basically preparing to tell the rest of us to go to hell and ram through another highly defective piece of legislation without scrutiny and without debate. The financial system bailouts and Stimulus Bill and Cap & Trade bill all point clearly towards where this will end up.

The Administration and its supporters have vilified the concerns of many about end of live panels, and yet this is a fact of life in the UK already. Somewhere far removed, bureaucrats make life and death decisions based on the numbers. With all of its faults, our current system values life much more highly. One of the chief theoreticians they seem to be listening to, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, the White House Chief of Staff’s brother, has openly discussed the “life value” of infants and the elderly, noting that a child is not really self aware until the age of two. This is a very, very dangerous discussion.

This is what government health care will be. You will be triaged as to your future value as a taxpayer supporting the government bureaucracy. If you have an infant with health problems, he or she may have continuing health problems and be a source of continuing costs. People that are not accountable to and invisible from the family will decide that the infant will be denied care that would allow it to live. The health insurance that you used to have, that would have treated the infant, will no longer be available.

If you are an older person who is near retirement age, then you are a cost to the government even though you have paid and paid and paid into the system and never used any benefits in the past. Good luck with surviving cancer or getting heart surgery. Your private insurance policy will no longer be there.

Truly the banality of evil. Of course those people making life and death decisions for treatment are just doing their jobs just like the guards at the concentration camps.

The Democrats that are planning to ram public health care down the throats of a public that recognizes it for what it is and do not want it are also just doing their jobs as they see it, just like the guards at the concentration camps. Nancy Pelosi is accusing anybody that opposes her program of forced lack of medical choice as a Nazi. Perhaps she just needs to take those swastikas out of her lingerie drawer and wear them publicly.

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