Navigation Links
Businesses Need Swine Flu Action Plan, U.S. Says
Date:8/19/2009

Employers must prepare now for more sick workers, new federal guidelines say

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Telecommuting, flexible work hours and even keeping employees 6 feet apart are all ways to reduce the spread and impact of H1N1 swine flu on America's businesses, government experts said in new guidelines issued Wednesday.

Above all, employers need to remain flexible as the fall/winter flu season approaches, because the extent and severity of the outbreak remains uncertain, according to the guidelines for businesses issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Companies need to plan for continuity of operations with a depleted workforce," Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said during a press conference Wednesday. "A little planning now will help ensure that our economy withstands whatever the H1N1 virus throws us this fall."

According to the CDC, more communities may be affected by both the H1N1 swine flu and the seasonal flu in coming months than last spring, and every business needs to have a swine flu action plan in place.

"Businesses play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society, whether in regular flu season or during an outbreak of the H1N1," Locke said. Businesses can help by setting the "right tone" within their companies, he added. "That starts by letting employees know that if employees exhibit flu-like symptoms, they shouldn't come to work. If an employee shows symptoms during the workday, the CDC recommends that that employee be asked to go home."

Some of the key points for employers:

  • Stay in touch with your local health department, and plan now to obtain accurate sources of information on flu outbreaks and school closures in your area. Also, track any spikes in absenteeism among staff.
  • Encourage good flu-preventive hygiene, such as frequent hand washing, routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and "coughing etiquette," such as covering a cough or sneeze with tissue or a sleeve.
  • Urge employees to get a flu shot once they become available, especially higher-risk individuals, such as pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions.
  • If workers do get sick, sequester them from other employees while they await transport home and encourage them to stay away from work for 24 hours after fever has ended. Fever does not always accompany active flu, so this rule may still not catch everyone with H1N1 flu, the CDC notes.
  • Don't penalize workers or discourage them from taking sick days. And prepare to allow workers to stay home to take care of children if illness strikes or if schools close. "Some businesses require doctor's notes or other paperwork to prove that they or their loved ones had to miss work because of illness. That's a requirement that employers should consider dropping, because it has the potential to overload the health care system that will likely be stressed during this year's flu season," Locke said.
  • Consider creative ways to avoid person-to-person contact if the situation warrants it. This might include telecommuting from home, staggering shifts and spreading essential business knowledge among workers to ensure smooth workflow if a key employee becomes ill.

Of course, the H1N1 flu could be more severe than expected, and additional precautions might be advised then, the CDC said. This could include keeping sick workers home for a week after symptoms resolve. And it might also involve implementing a "six-foot rule," asking workers to maintain that distance from coworkers to help avoid transmission of the virus.

The new CDC recommendations follow on the heels of its guidelines for schools, issued earlier this month. At that time, experts stressed that the timely delivery of an H1N1 vaccine could help curb the outbreak. Vaccine trials have already begun in adults, and on Tuesday officials at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced that two clinical trials testing the effectiveness of candidate vaccines for children are set to "begin shortly."

More information

Find out more on the new guidance for business at flu.gov.



SOURCES: Aug. 19, 2009, news briefing with Gary Locke, secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce; Aug. 19, 2009, Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to the 2009-2010 Influenza Season, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Aug. 18, 2009, news release, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Businesses Need Swine Flu Action Plan: Experts
2. SDSU's Process Improvement Programs Help Businesses Achieve Bottom Line Results
3. National Long Term Care Community Business Coalition Cautions Severe $16 Billion Medicare Cuts to Nursing Home Care Will Not Only Jeopardize Quality Care to Seniors but Deeply Impact Businesses that Support Sector, Contribute to Local Economies
4. Landrieu Leads Senate Fight to Improve Health Care For Small Businesses
5. Abbott to Acquire Nutrition Businesses, Expanding Presence in India
6. Employee Wellness Programs Demonstrate Positive Return on Investment for Businesses
7. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire Gives Boost to Help Small Businesses in the Granite State
8. Media invited to ACS Webinar on financing tips for start-ups and small businesses
9. Businesses, Community Leaders Invited to Come Together to Examine the Rising Cost of Healthcare
10. Landrieu, Snowe Convene Roundtable on Healthcare for Small Businesses
11. Finally a Health Care Option for Small Businesses
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Businesses Need Swine Flu Action Plan, U.S. Says
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... U.S. Security Associates (USA) was named ... their industry leading training methods that engage their associates and link their achievements ... elite in employer-sponsored training and development programs. , “The 2017 Training Top 125 ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... ... For many years, Andrew G. Zubinas has accumulated over 130 hardcover ... Lithuanian language and its poetry inspired him in writing “ Forest Lungs ... aspects of a living, breathing forest where nothing ever stays the same. His subjects ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... “Epilepsy Awareness,” which can be found ... a conversation about epilepsy, bearing down on the social stigma and lack of ... with epilepsy within their lifetime. With such a large percentage of people affected, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , ... December 05, 2016 , ... BSI and Brenntag ... United States and Canada for distribution of their natural fruits and beverage ... is an exciting addition to our Life Sciences product portfolio,” said Steve Brauer, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... portfolio company, today announced it has acquired the assets of Frankfurt, Germany ... a subsidiary of Chiltern International and focuses on clinical trial drug packaging, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016 Special purpose needles are used in ... fluid and cells from organs or lumps and are available ... The global market for special purpose needles is showing a ... of revenue, the global special purpose needles market is projected ... period (2016–2026) and is expected to be valued at US$ ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec. 5, 2016  Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. ... Programs Gary Tennis today filled prescriptions for ... Pharmacy in York to demonstrate ... Dr. Levine as a prescription to acquire naloxone at ... important to remember that any Pennsylvanian can walk up ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... (Biomedical & Biochemical Research, Disease Diagnostics), End User (Academic & Research ... report to their offering. ... , The western blotting ... USD 574.8 Million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 4.9%. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: