Jun 08, 2009
In this OH&S podcast, Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez discusses the possibility of developing a vaccine against influenza A(H1N1) and says employers should prepare for having 30 percent of their workers unavailable because of flu.
Worldwide cases of influenza A(H1N1) reached 13,398 on May 27, with 95 deaths attributed to the disease. The World Health Organization remained at Level 5 of its pandemic risk scale. In the United States, CDC reported decreased flu activity for the week of May 10-16 but said flu levels remained higher than normal for that time of year, and five states were reporting geographically widespread flu activity.
U.S. employers should remain vigilant and prepared for a more serious flu outbreak, Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez advises in this podcast, an interview with OH&S Editor Jerry Laws that 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.
Dr. Ramirez, DO, Ph.D., BCEM, CNS, CMRO, is founder and president of the consulting firm High Alert, LLC in Kissimmee, Fla. He serves on expert panels for pandemic preparedness and serves as a Senior Physician-Federal Medical Officer in the National Disaster Medical System.