Swine flu, or Influenza H1N1, is a major health concern that continues to top the headlines. Although not yet classified as a pandemic, there is imminent potential for a change in status. Securing the health and safety of an organization and the people that make it work is an employer’s responsibility, and businesses should be prepared for a worst-case scenario. If your organization already has a pandemic plan in place, this is a good time to review and update contingencies, to provide resources for concerned employees and to ensure business continuity.
Information and resources are available to help minimize the impact on your workforce by the Influenza H1N1 virus as well as by other potential pandemic threats.
- World Health Organization (WHO) – WHO is coordinating the global response to human cases of influenza A (H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic. Their site offers guidance documents, FAQs, travel restriction updates and regional information.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, U.S.) – The CDC’s goal is to reduce transmission and severity of the illness as well as to provide information to help healthcare providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency. Also available from the CDC: H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You, Key Facts, Antiviral Drugs, Interim Guidance: Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home and Facemasks and Respirators.
- U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (USDOL, OSHA) pandemic influenza site – Provides workplace-specific advice on pandemic influenza. See also: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic.
- Pandemicflu.gov – A one-stop shop that includes information on the disease and links to workplace questions, planning checklists and hotlines. See also: Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) pandemic influenza plan is a blueprint for pandemic influenza preparation and response.
- The Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota – Provides swine flu updates and information on business planning for pandemic outbreaks.
- National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health-MedLine Plus
- Harvard Center for Public Health Preparedness
- International SOS Pandemic Preparedness
- Scientific American offers A Guide to Swine Flu, including precautions to help avoid catching it.
- The St. Petersburg Times has an article titled Pasco’s got a go-to guy to help businesses prepare for a pandemic that includes a list of questions to help your company come up with a plan.
- Employee Benefit News provides advice for dealing with pandemic panic in the workplace in the article “Soothing swine flu fears in the workplace.”