Obama: H1N1 preparedness is going well

Sept. 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama repeated his goal of preparedness, not panic, if an expected second wave of H1N1 flu moves through the United States this fall.

"As I said when we saw the first cases of this virus back in the spring, I don't want anybody to be alarmed, but I do want everybody to be prepared," Obama said after a meeting on the 2009 H1N1 national preparedness and response. "We know that we usually get a second, larger wave of these flu viruses in the fall, and so response plans have been put in place across all levels of government."

Obama also told reporters that "steady progress" was being made on developing a safe and effective vaccine for the H1N1 flu, formerly known as swine flu, and a flu shot program would begin soon.

Federal, state and local governments, hospitals and healthcare providers, and family and businesses all have a role to play in responding to the virus.

"And most importantly we need everyone to get informed about individual risk factors, and we need everyone to take the common-sense steps that we know can make a difference," he said. "Stay home if you're sick. Wash your hands frequently. Cover your sneezes with your sleeve, not your hands. And take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. I know it sounds simple, but it's important and it works."

People wanting to learn more about the H1N1 virus, can visit www.flu.gov, or talk to their doctor, he said.

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