Client Alert

Preparing for a Pandemic Outbreak: Lessons Learned from the H1N1 Flu

May 21, 2009

Erika Collins and Monica Debiak

The recent outbreak of H1N1 flu, most commonly known as swine flu, demonstrates how quickly a virus can spread due to increased globalization. While it is still uncertain where the virus originated, what is clear is that the swine flu has been rapidly spreading across the globe. It has claimed victims in over forty countries, affecting over ten thousand people with eighty reported fatalities. While it may appear that the swine flu outbreak is now somewhat contained, by their very nature, flu viruses are unpredictable and notorious for their rapid mutation. The swine flu continues to claim new victims everyday, and has officially reached pandemic levels. The consequences of H1N1 have been less severe than originally anticipated, but there are some important lessons to be learned. Should the worst occur, most companies would be caught without the necessary policies and plans in place to deal with a deadly outbreak. This article outlines the steps that an employer can take in order to prepare for a pandemic and ensure business continuity.

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