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Disaster Plans Get a Second Look for Fall's Predicted Swine Flu Influx

"Even if swine flu remains a mild infection, the pandemic could be the tipping point for an emergency medical system teetering on the edge.

"The worry is, the health-care delivery system could be overwhelmed by people who are sick or think they are sick," said Kim Elliott of Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan think tank and advocacy group.

In response, officials across the country are rewriting disaster plans and stocking up on masks, gowns, drugs and other supplies -- and inventing new strategies. One key line of attack will be encouraging people who are not really sick or are suffering only mild symptoms to recover at home. And in a move creating intense debate, experts are searching for ways to help health-care providers quickly screen those who do seek help and separate bad cases from less-severe ones."
 
 

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