Huffpost reports healthcare specialists speak about statistical data offered by the federal government.
The number of flu cases has risen significantly in the USA and there is a record quantity of patients in some states like California, for example, who look for medical help. According to health experts, one of the way to prepare for providing necessary care to all patients is a government shutdown.
Recently, flu has become a cause of 30 kids’ deaths, let alone over 9 thousand people to struggle with the illness in medical establishments. Flu is reported to widespread in every American state apart from Hawaii, 32 of them mention about a high activity.
As Congress doesn’t agree to fund the government, the Department of Health and Human Services decided to look for support from the CDC’s influenza program that takes place every year. The latter gives money for laboratory analysis to identify flu strains and be able to determine the best way of its treatment. Identification of the flu subtypes allows guiding vaccines that will be used next year.
The CDC provides reports with the information about flu epidemic in the country every week as well. It also mentions the quantity and places of the possible cases and deaths caused by flu.
These figures are incredibly helpful for representatives of the Health System whose task is to make preparations for supplies and staffing for a new wave of the people who get infected.
The following numbers are very informative as they help to evaluate how medical centers are prepared for hospital operations. If these statistics are not provided, everyone will feel the influence.
What is worse is the fact that it is impossible to avoid a government shutdown this year when there is a peak of flu season. Doctors control the figures to understand when they will start decreasing. Usually, a flu season lasts from October to February with the peak in December.
At this time health care specialists pay much attention to the data provided every week. It helps to track the epidemic and come to the conclusion if a peak has come and a disease starts declining already. However, doctors hope that government will be kept open.
According to Richard Webby, a member of the Infectious Diseases Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, a government shutdown is important not only for affecting this year flu season but also make necessary preparations for the epidemic that will take place next year. Two times a year Webby and other medical expert attend the World Health Organization Influenza Vaccine Composition Meeting with the goal to analyze statistics of the last flu season and decide which vaccine strains are required next year.
The influenza division of CDC aims at gathering different types of viruses and characterizing them, so it is not desirable that there were any slowdowns in this procedure.
It goes without saying that the CDC is responsible for different health initiatives including monitoring of various infectious diseases. It also supports, technically, in particular, health departments, organizes prevention programs and researchers that will shed light on more effective treatment and prevention of serious diseases like AIDs, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. The organization also provides monitoring of food-borne illness outbreaks, but any of the following efforts will make no sense during the shutdown because of funding-related troubles.
The last federal shutdown took place on October 1, 2013. It led to the experts’ worries how state departments should behave if they get little data about the flu. However, there was some information reported because the shutdown happened at the beginning of the flu season and did not last longer than 16 days.