Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez, pandemic flu and surge planning expert

Expert Urges Employers to Stay Ready for Flu

With 25,288 confirmed cases of influenza A(H1N1) as of June 8, the threat of a serious outbreak has not disappeared, says pandemic expert Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez. He recommends offering a "flu benefit" and says employers should prepare for having 30 percent of their workers unavailable because of flu.

The threat of a serious outbreak has not disappeared, says Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez. In an interview with the editor of OH&S that is available here as an free podcast, he recommends offering a "flu benefit" and says employers should prepare for having 30 percent of their workers unavailable because of flu.

Worldwide cases of A(H1N1) climbed from 13,398 on May 27 to 25,288 on June 8, with 139 deaths attributed to the disease on the latter date, according to the World Health Organization. U.S. employers should remain vigilant and prepared for a more serious flu outbreak, Dr. Ramirez advises in this podcast, which was recorded May 22.

During the interview, Ramirez discusses what we know now and can predict about this flu virus; how well our government, businesses, and the public were prepared for the outbreak; what employers should do now; and how soon a vaccine for the virus could be available.

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