H1N1 and Your Office

Much has been made across the past 6 months about the H1N1 virus, also commonly (and inaccurately) referred to as “Swine flu.”

I wanted to use today’s post to bring everyone up to speed on developments surrounding the virus, provide information on local resources and vaccine operations, and few helpful hints and websites we’ve found that can help you combat H1N1 – and other seasonal flu bugs – in your office as we get closer to the Holidays.

The Center for Disease Control releases a weekly online update regarding H1N1 proliferation and containment, with the most recent post published last Friday (Dec. 4th).  Nationally, influenza activity has decreased across all major indicators in the past weeks, and visits to doctors for flu-like symptoms have followed suit and decreased as well.

Currently there are 25 states reporting widespread influenza activity, and unfortunately North Carolina is among them (along with states like Virginia, New York, Tennessee, and California).  However, it’s important to keep in mind that this classification includes seasonal influenza, as well as the H1N1 strain.

Despite certain rumors to the contrary, the H1N1 influenza strain remains completely treatable.  According to the CDC “Almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far continue to be 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir with rare exception.”

North Carolinians needn’t fear a shortfall of supplies; according to a special report in the News and Observer on Wednesday, December 9th, “Swine flu vaccine now available to all in NC.”

Simply – if you want the vaccine, you should be able to get it – simply go to this website www.flu.gov to enter your zip code for the nearest vaccination location.  For county-by-county information, ABCNews has a helpful website, and for more information at the state level, visit the N.C. Division of Public Health site “H1N1: Information and Guidance for Professionals.”

What else are you doing to keep your employees and their families safe and healthy this flu season.  Please feel free to pass along any helpful hints in the comments section so our readers can get as much information as possible.  And as always, we welcome any questions you all may have just email us.

Take care,

George

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