O'Malley: Budget Cuts May Hurt Swine flu Response

State reports seventh H1N1-related death

Monday, Aug 24, 2009  |  Updated 10:45 PM EDT
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O'Malley: Budget Cuts May Hurt Swine flu Response

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If Maryland has an outbreak, can it afford to fight it?

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LARGO, Md. -- Budget cuts to be announced this week could affect the ability of Maryland and local governments to respond to a swine flu outbreak, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Monday.

This follows a reported from a presidential panel could infect half the population in the United States and cause up to 90,000 deaths.

Happy first day of school, kiddies! Looks like the scary-then-tame H1N1 could get scary again, especially in Maryland.

O'Malley said he's hopeful that federal grants will help make up the difference. Maryland has already received millions of federal dollars for planning its response to swine flu but has not yet received money for distribution of the vaccine.

State health secretary John Colmers said the state's plan is still to make the vaccine available to every Maryland resident who wants it, but it's difficult to predict when the supply of the vaccine will be sufficient to offer it to everyone.

Earlier Monday, Maryland's seventh swine-flu related death was announced. It involved an elderly man from D.C.'s suburbs who already had serious underlying medical conditions.

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