- "Sacramento-area hospitals are filled
to the gills with very sick patients, forcing them to close their emergency
rooms from time to time and scramble for extra staff."
- "County medfical officials have
declared a state of emergency in response to unprecedented hospital overcrowding
and have implemented a disaster control system to distribute ambulance
patients to hospitals that can handle them ..."
- " 'We've never had to do this before,'
said Bruce Wagner, chief of emergency medical services for Sacramento County."
- "At one point recently, nine out
of 10 hospitals were closed to new patients, Wagner said ..."
- "On Monday evening, only two emergency
room beds were available countywide and 30 patients were waiting on gurneys
- "Hospital and other health officials
are baffled as to why the hospitals are so overwhelmed this winter. They
say INFLUENZA HAS NOT YET SWEPT THROUGH THE AREA, but more patients are
coming in sicker with dangerous respiratory ailments than is typical for
this time of year."
- "The problems in Sacramento County
came to a head on Dec. 30, when nearly all hospitals in the area reported
they were full. In response, county Emergency Medical Services officials
declared a state of emergency and implemented the agency's first-ever centralized
ambulance distribution system at the disaster control facility at UC Davis."
- ATLANTA (CNN) -- A new flu strain that is slightly different from the ones
that can be combated by this year's vaccine appears to be spreading in
the United States.
- The Type A Sydney flu virus -- which
is suspected of originating in Australia and arriving in the United States
via passengers on a cruise ship -- has been found in about 40 percent of
all influenza cases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
has studied since flu season began in October, said Stephen Ostroff of
the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases.
- The CDC identified the Sydney strain
as the cause of illness among Australian tourists who docked in New York
in September while on a cruise to Montreal. "Specimens were collected,
and it was realized what these individuals had was influenza," Ostroff
- "The strains were then looked at
in more detail here at the CDC in Atlanta and they were characterized as
being the A Sydney." Since then, the CDC has discovered the strain
in Southern California and parts of New York. Health officials in both
states have reported more flu cases than usual. The CDC expects that more
cases of the Sydney flu will surface as the season peaks at the end of