Health - Influenza

Health - Influenza - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science...

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By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. hospitals could contribute to the spread of influenza during a pandemic because most do not follow good hygiene practices, a group reported on Thursday. Their report, combined with a Congressional Budget Office report showing a pandemic could cost the U.S. economy $675 billion, adds to an increasingly dire picture being painted of what a bird flu pandemic would look like in the United States. U.S. officials continued to urge states and businesses to get ready for an outbreak of serious disease, issuing a checklist of preparations, while Congress wrestled with funding a federal plan before the end of the year. The H5N1 avian influenza spreading through poultry in Asia and parts of Europe, including Ukraine, is considered the worst threat now. It has killed 69 people and infected 135, but a few mutations could turn it into a virus that spreads easily and quickly among people. Many reports have shown that hospitals can be a source for spreading such diseases, because health care workers fail to follow even basic hygiene practices such as washing their hands after touching any patient or piece of equipment. A report from the National Center for Policy Analysis predicted that unless hospitals tighten procedures quickly, they could
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Health - Influenza - By Maggie Fox, Health and Science...

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