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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Hunterdon County Department of Health
State: NJ
Date Added: 05/13/2009
Themes: Medical Care and Countermeasures
Issue Summary: Ill-equipped providers and school nurses; clamor for H1N1 testing
Description of Issue(s): 1.? We discovered MD offices that had zero surgical masks on hand
2.? We had to send public health nurses out to some MD offices to collect nasal/pharyngeal specimens b/c office staff either didn't want or didn't know how to do it.
3.? We received urgent requests from first responders to convene fit-testing clinics (after previously shunning offers to do so years ago)
4. We passed out N0-95's and surgical masks to school nurses that did not have any
5. Numerous MD's were upset that we couldn't support more wide testing for H1N1
6. Our MRC volunteers staffed our "call center" and got a call from a mother whose young son had been excluded from school for 7 days due to flu-like illness, but the boy wanted to attend a birthday party.? He wouldn't believe his mother, so she called our call center and put her son on the phone and our MRC volunteer had to reaffirm the requirement.
7.? We received an email from a resident who, when advised by her MD that we were not accepting general specimens for testing, said "so much for protecting the public, maybe you're there to protect the politicians.? We wouldn't want the rest of the world to know the truth.? I hope I don't have to bury one of my four kids because my government didn't adequately warn me of the danger."
Actions taken to address the issue(s):
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken:

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