Dr. Glennah Trochet is Sacramento County’s Public Health Officer. She says last week 51 people were hospitalized from the H1N1 virus – that’s up from 36 the week before. And Trochet says emergency responders are getting twice as many calls for flu-like, respiratory illnesses. She says that’s why an emergency strategy is needed.
“If you see a train coming toward you, you try to slow it down, there is no disaster and we are hoping to be able to control the crisis by calling the emergency early, rather than late.”
Officials say declaring a state of emergency right now doesn’t mean more money. But Trochet says it will help get more volunteers in place at flu clinics, boost protective mask supplies for health care workers and give hospitals the option to add more patient beds. Trochet says in Sacramento County more than 300 people have been hospitalized with swine flu and 15 have died since April.
If supervisors approve the request, Sacramento County would follow the state and federal government in declaring a state of emergency.