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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 1;52 Suppl 1:S177-82. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciq035.

A survey of emergency department 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) surge preparedness--Atlanta, Georgia, July-October 2009.

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  • 1Global Immunization Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


During August through September 2009, a surge in emergency department (ED) visits for 2009 pandemic influenza A (pH1N1) illness occurred in Georgia, particularly among children. To understand surge preparedness and capacity, we obtained influenza-like illness (ILI) ED visit data from the Georgia State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (SendSS) and conducted a retrospective, Internet-based survey among all 26 metro Atlanta ED managers with reference to the period 1 July-1 October 2009. SendSS detected a marked and progressive increase in mean monthly ILI visits from 1 July-1 October 2009, which more than tripled (from 399 to 2196) for the 2 participating EDs that cared for pediatric patients during this time. ED managers reported patient volume surges, resulting in space and supply limitations, especially at pediatric EDs. Most (92%) of the facilities had current pandemic influenza plans. Pandemic planning can help to ensure preparedness for natural and man-made disasters and for future influenza pandemics.

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