Swine Flu

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Updated May 11, 2009 4:15pm

NBAA Members planning international travel can ensure that they have the latest information about swine influenza A (H1N1) virus by checking the Internet web site for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has announcements, considerations for travel to affected areas and a toll-free phone number for questions. Last week, the CDC reported an outbreak of influenza-like illness in Mexico, and several cases of swine influenza have now been reported in other countries as well as in California, Texas, New York, Ohio and Kansas. Although government officials yesterday declared a public health emergency in conjunction with the disease, no deaths have been reported in the U.S., and the CDC has not recommended that people avoid travel at this time. The CDC’s information is intended to help those traveling to affected areas reduce infection risk and stay healthy.

About Swine Flu

Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection also have been identified internationally. The current U.S. case count is provided at www.cdc.gov

An investigation and response effort surrounding the outbreak of swine flu is ongoing.

CDC is working very closely with officials in states where human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. This includes deploying staff domestically and internationally to provide guidance and technical support.

CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the agency's response to this emerging health threat and yesterday the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, declared a public health emergency in the United States. This will allow funds to be released to support the public health response. CDC's goals during this public health emergency are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to assist health care providers, public health officials and the public in addressing the challenges posed by this newly identified influenza virus. To this end, CDC has issued a number of interim guidance documents in the past 24 hours. In addition, CDC's Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak. Laboratory testing has found the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.

Travelers Guidance

Prevention Guidance

It is prudent for businesses to act in the absence of sufficient data to protect their employees and take advantage of a narrow window of opportunity for intervention. Persons with febrile respiratory illness should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections (including influenza and other respiratory illnesses) to others in their communities. In addition, frequent hand washing can lessen the spread of respiratory illness. As public health officials in the United States learn more about this virus, updated guidance will be issued to the public in conjunction with our state, local, tribal and territorial partners.

  • Identify your city, county or state public health department’s website for the most accurate information on what is taking place in your local area. These sites contain information on the current conditions in your area, what services are available as well as what services may be curtailed or suspended for the duration of an outbreak of influenza.
  • Identify your Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) and employee readiness to successfully navigate a difficult period. Consulting a website like www.ready.gov on how employees should have enough food, water, medications, and other necessities to weather any breakdown in the supply chain that could prevent employees from reporting to their place of employment.
  • Identify policies and procedures to protect and sustain workers
    • Emphasize worker and workplace disease control and protection
    • Encourage employees to take actions to stay healthy. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Promote often hand washing with soap and water. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth
    • If an employee is sick, CDC recommends that the individual stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them
  • Identify and assess all essential services, functions, and processes necessary to keep systems running
  • Identify the types and numbers of workers critical to sustain essential functions
    • Define roles and responsibilities of employees, labor organizations, staff, supervisors, managers, and staff medical personnel
    • Assess impacts from short-term and extended absences by essential workers
    • Access, practice, and test remote connectivity and accessibility options for workers to ensure services remain operational
  • Review all equipment critical to support each essential function
    • Review primary and supporting components of critical equipment to identify potential critical system failures and possible cascading consequences
  • Prepare to sustain essential equipment, materials, and supplies for a nationwide wave lasting up to 12 weeks
    • Assess implications if your essential equipment fails early on during the influenza outbreak
  • Determine the most effective ways to ensure adequate supply of essential materials
    • Identify physical or safety limitations in stocking sufficient critical supplies locally
    • Assess recurring and preventative maintenance requirements
  • Identify Federal, State, and local regulatory requirements that may affect business operations
    • Consider how each action relates to those emergency response actions in existing business contingency and emergency response plans
  • Identify effects from mitigation strategies; take actions to reduce negative impacts
    • Discuss strategies’ potential impacts with workers, as well as your strategies management will take to communicate with employees, before, during, and after an outbreak
    • Discuss the potential impacts of these strategies with workers, their families, and with customers, supporting businesses and other stakeholders
    • Collaborate with public/private partners such as state and local health authorities and first responders who support and rely on you

Federal Interagency Updates

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: PandemicFlu.gov

World Health Organization

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of Personal and Management

U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Safety and Health Administration

International Civil Aviation Organization

For More Information

For additional information, contact: