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Swine Flu (H1N1) Spreading Across Globe, Time for Business Planning Running Out

As Swine Flu continues to spread at a rapid pace, the window of opportunity for preparedness is closing fast as well.

Initially I was putting out preparedness information through my business/blog newsletter, however the situation has evolved rapidly enough that I thought it best to post some important information directly here on my blog.

First and foremost, if you run a business REVIEW or quickly develop a pandemic plan now, before it gets too late.

With that said, don’t panic, remain calm. There is no reason at this moment to not send your kids to school or stay home if you are not having symptoms. You can also not get the Swine Flu from eating pork.

Currently and for the first time, the WHO has increased its phase level of pandemic alert and changed the definitions of the phases; it is currently at Phase 4.

You can read more about the WHO Pandemic Phases on the WHO website, but here is the current definition of Phase 4:

Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

Breakdown of the new WHO definitions:

  • Phase 1: No viruses circulating in animals that cause infections in humans
  • Phase 2: Animal virus is circulating that is known to cause human infection
  • Phase 3: Animal or human-animal reassortment virus causes sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people but not sustained community level outbreaks
  • Phase 4: Verified human-to-human transmission of a virus that is able to cause community level outbreaks and marks a significant upward shift in the risk for a pandemic
  • Phase 5: Human-to-human spread of virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. This is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent
  • Phase 6: Pandemic phase
  • Post-peak: Pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance have dropped below peak levels
  • Post-pandemic: Influenza disease activities has returned to levels normally associated with seasonal influenza

The current situation is extremely fluid and as of this posting a total of 64 cases have been confirmed inside the United States. I will not focus on cases outside the United States at this time, however you can find updates to this information by going to the CDC Swine Flu web page, it is currently updated once per day.


  • Communicate to your employees; review your plan with them.
  • Consider sending out daily reminders, about proper hand washing, and proper sneezing and coughing techniques.
  • Consider eliminating ALL business related travel to Mexico; utilize telecommunications, virtual meetings for business.
  • If you considered implementing the prophylactic use of anti-virals, now is the time to review your plan. If you are considering them as an option, now is the time to sign up.
  • Now is the time to consider telecommuting options for employees who can work from home, and getting them trained. Don’t wait allow them time to adjust so they will be ready if it becomes a must.
  • Consider options for what telecommuting employees will do if working remotely fails. Many businesses are planning the same options. Reduced internet performance and even outages will be likely.
  • Consider what to do if employees refuse to come in to work (from panic)
  • Consider how to handle employees who may appear to be ill, but come to work anyway.


There will be many other options to consider.


Act now before it is too late.


If you need help planning for your business, have questions or concerns you can send me an email through my contact us page.

Or you can always call me directly on my business phone at:

877-565-TECH (8324)

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