This week, Direct Relief has delivered additional protective medical supplies to partner clinics in the U.S. and a consignment of aid to the National Institute of Pediatrics in Mexico City in response to the H1N1 (“Swine”) Flu outbreak.
The 500-bed public hospital, which provides free treatment to low-income children up to age 17, is receiving specifically requested Tylenol to help treat fever in patients, as well as 10,000 gloves and 5,000 protective N95 particulate respirators. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified N95 masks for use by clinicians to prevent transmission of the virus.
Direct Relief today dispatched additional N95 masks to clinics in Texas and California, where two new swine flu cases were confirmed in Ventura County. The protective masks help prevent virus transmission to healthcare workers so they will remain able to treat flu patients. In addition to North Central Texas in Wichita Falls, Texas, California clinics that have received supplies include :Clinicas del Camino Real, Ventura; El Proyecto del Barrio, Winnetka; Council of Community Clinics, San Diego; United American Indian Involvement, Los Angeles; Bell Gardens Family Medical Center, Bell Gardens.
The CDC and public health officials are encouraging individuals to practice good hygiene to protect themselves from the H1N1 virus. A public health emergency has been declared in the United States and Mexico to free up resources as needs arise.
Direct Relief’s H1N1 Flu response team will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses. The organization has extensive experience in responding to emergencies both national and international, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 to Myanmar’s Cyclone Nargis in 2008.