Swine Flu

How concerned are you about the upcoming swine flu season? What special precautions, if any, is your organization taking? Here is a link to an interesting article from today's Wash Post. tk



  • 17 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I'm less concerned about the virus than I am about the hysteria. I had four employees call off (at a 5-employee branch) last spring because one of them was coughing. It's hard for me to empathetic in that situation.
  • We are extremely concerned and participate in our county's regular stakeholder's meetings and updates.

    We have large populations of individuals here both on an ongoing basis and short term. The potential for illness is high due to the amount of people on site at any time.

    We have an older dorm that is no longer in use and we may convert it over to a full time quarantine/sick bay area soon.

    This summer, a camp in central Oregon had 60-80 kids get sick in a short time. Many of the sick kids were tested and H1N1 was confirmed. There were no deaths to my knowledge but it brought "reality" back to all of us here in the Pac NW.

    The difficulty I see is the symptoms (coughing, fever, sore throat) are so common and are not always related to H1N1. The recommended quarantine period is 7 days. I have actually quarantined our staff when we have had suspected Norovirus outbreaks and they get cabin fever after 48 hours. Its not a pleasant experience.

    The fall school season will be interesting. I think we may see situations where parents are keeping kids out of school if they are concerned that their child could be exposed.
  • We have had a pandemic preparedness committee in place for about two years now, long before the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. Since we are a bank, the FDIC expects us to have some sort of planning in place if we are hit by something that could potentially take a lot of employees out of the workplace. So we had already done a lot of "what if" scenarios long before this pandemic broke out.

    I agree with Frank about the hysteria aspect of it; so far we haven't had any overreactions but we do have a lot of people with younger kids and if the schools and daycares start closing because one kid comes down with it, we could have some real issues at some of our smaller branches. So far, though, I haven't known of any branch or department where it's gone so far as people not coming to work because one employee was sick, so the absences we're more worried about are because people can't find child care if their kids can't go to school/daycare. I read an article where they were saying that they are recommending that schools not close even if there is a confirmed case, and they've also said that they've begun recommending that kids can go back to school 24 hours after the last sign of fever, so that is better than expecting to keep them out for a full week even if they aren't sick that long.

    As part of our wellness plan, we have paid for our employees to have seasonal flu shots for many years now, but so far we don't know if we're going to pay for H1N1 shots also. We're currently in the information-gathering stage on that.
  • We are almost exact to cnghr; however, we too are a bank and I assume we went through the same or very similar pandemic preparedness training through the Feds. Our committee is set up and ready to act if/when needed.
    So far no problems in the attendance issue in this part of the country and it is my understanding that we have had confirmed cases within 30 miles of our town.
    We too provide flu vaccines every year, according to our usual supplier they are not sure if they will have an adequate supply for the usual business customers this year.
  • Here in the Pacific Northwest, some 2000 students at Univ of Washington have reported H1N1 symptoms. Its been covered by the local news but I am suprised its not been a bigger story.
  • Paul, I've seen several national TV and newspaper articles about the outbreak at Washington State. It probably didn't get bigger headlines because the news was fairly positive: No one was seriously ill, according to the reports I saw/read, and no one died. I hope all of our Forumites have access to lots of hand sanitizer and stay healthy in the face of this threat. tk
  • A memo was sent to the managers of all our stores which states:

    Anyone with flu symptoms MUST stay home.

    Follow the 20/20 rule. Every twenty minutes you must wash your hands for 20 seconds.

    Utensils at salad bars must be changed at the time of refilling any container.

    All public areas such as counters, tables, chairs, etc. must be sanitized every day.

    Also, the stores have a big bottle of sanitizer at each counter for customers to use if they wish.

    Since we deal with the public we are at higher risk. The office staff uses sanitizer because of handling all the paperwork that comes from the stores.

    I've never been one to be overly cautious or nervous about these things, but I have to admit that after the news keeps on reporting how hard it is going to hit, I am a little nervous.
  • Wash your hands every 20 minutes? That seems excessive. Thats 3 times an hour or 24 times during an 8 hour shift.
  • I know, I thought so too. I don't deal with the operational aspect of the stores so I don't know if that is what our company requires or if it is part of the safe food handler thing.
  • They have a name for people who wash their hands 24 times a day you know.
  • :) Too funny! Maybe the person who set this rule is "one of those". ::pb&J::
  • Don't start your banana dance yet. Those "people" may be the only ones left after this outbreak.
  • Point well taken. And in reality, it is no picnic to have that disorder. I know of someone who suffered with this tremendously.
  • The zombies will be left. Don't forget them.
  • At our staff meeting this morning we were all given a handout on the facts of the Swine Flu and it's symptoms.

    Bad idea, now I feel like I have all the symptoms. Power of suggestion.
  • Go wash your hands. Maybe the value in handwashing isnt so much the handwashing but just the activity that keeps your mind occupied from thinking about fevers, coughs, etc.

    Now that you mention it, Im feeling a bit warm...
  • We have confirmed cases in the local public school and in both local colleges. However, so far it is basically business as usual at all locations. The colleges are sending out campus wide emails with instructions as to what to do if you have the sumptoms of the flu. Basically they are informing the students to self isolate if they believe they have the flu and to avoid contact with others until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100°F or 38°C) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). While you are sick, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people. If you must be in closer contact, wear a surgical mask.
    I talked with our local Health Dept. last week and they did not know when they would receive the H1N1 vaccine or how much they will receive. They commented their information on this changes almost daily. We will make the standard flu vaccine available to all employees around mid Ocotber.
    Trust everyone will do their best to stay well - keep the ol bottle of hand sanitizer close by.
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