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A Few Get In

While much of the US National Institutes of Health is closed due to the federal government shutdown, a few critically ill patients have been admitted to the hospital there, the Associated Press reports.

The NIH Clinical Center typically treats patients who have had little success elsewhere with standard treatments. Many of the patients have cancer, and a number are children.

When the government closed due a lack of an agreement on a budget, NIH Director Francis Collins said that many of the 200 patients who typically are admitted to the center each week would be turned away. A few exceptions would be made for medically critical cases. About three-quarters of the overall NIH staff is on furlough.

NIH spokesperson Renate Myles says that about 12 patients have been admitted to the hospital since the shutdown took place, most of whom have cancer. Myles, the AP adds, did not say how many patients were children.