The emergency declaration, signed by the President on Saturday, Oct 25, enhances the ability of medical treatment facilities to handle a spike in influenza A (H1N1) patients by allowing medical officials to temporarily bypass certain federal requirements.
"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve," Obama said in the declaration.
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"The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," he said.
The declaration comes just days after Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned that demand was outstripping supply of vaccine.