I had the good fortune of participating last week in the 40th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Spending 5 days in close quarters with 2,000 world leaders from government, business, academia, and the arts was an eye-opener. But as I've reflected on the experience, I realize it's what I didn't see (or hear) that may be most tellingand troubling.
Only 3 months ago, here in the United States and many parts of the Northern Hemisphere we were experiencing the peak case occurrence of the second wave of the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic. Fearful parents were scrambling to find the precious few doses of vaccine available in their communities.
As much as we'd all like to put behind us the tale of H1N1, the first influenza pandemic of this century, I'm afraid it's too soon to stamp the words "The End." What's more, I've reached a conclusion that the way we define severity—or lack thereof—is as antiquated as the egg technology we've used to produce a vaccine for 40-plus years.
It's a race right now! And it's between the H1N1 virus and our long-awaited vaccine. Unfortunately, as I write this column, the virus is winning. So will your employees' best defense against the fast-moving virus ultimately win out? Possibly. But don't count on it.
(CIDRAP News) Businesses that take steps to protect workers during a pandemic have worried about staying in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and federal officials have responded by issuing new guidance that addresses many of the issues.
We face real uncertainty about the future of the H1N1 pandemic. No one knows today if the virus will mutate or reassort into a more effective killer or cause milder illness over the next 4 to 6 months. Even if the genetic makeup of the virus remains unchanged, the days ahead will not be easy.
(CIDRAP News) Business officials who attended a conference this week on how the business world can cope with the H1N1 influenza pandemic said employee absenteeism was far and away their leading concern.
In live polling conducted during a conference plenary session, 81% of the attendees said their greatest concern about the pandemic was absenteeism. Only 13% said they were most worried about disruption of critical supply chains.
(CIDRAP News) On the final day of a business preparedness summit in Minneapolis, a panel of experts emphasized having clear, open communication with employees as well as having flexible planslessons they learned from being on the frontlines in Mexico and the Southern Hemisphere during the spring novel H1N1 outbreak.