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Small Businesses Urged to Prepare for Swine Flu
Date:9/14/2009

H1N1 flu tends to target children and young adults, small businesses may find themselves short on employees who have to stay home to care for someone with the flu.

According to the guidelines issued Monday, a small business plan should include the designation of a workplace coordinator responsible for H1N1 issues. The plan should also:

  • Encourage sick workers to stay at home without fear of reprisal.
  • Find ways for workers to work from home.
  • Promote personal hygiene, such as frequent handwashing.
  • Encourage workers to get a seasonal flu shot.
  • Encourage workers to get the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.
  • Provide workers with information on flu risk factors.

If an employee does become sick at work, the employee should be moved away from other workers to limit infection until the worker can go home, according to the plan.

The H1N1 guidelines for small businesses are one of several guidelines issued by the U.S. government in recent weeks. Others included guidelines for schools, day-care centers, health-care workers and large businesses.

More information

For more on H1N1 swine flu, visit Flu.gov.



SOURCES: Sept. 14, 2009, teleconference with Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Karen Mills, administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; Daniel Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director, Influenza Division, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta


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