October 30, 2009, 7:59 AM — by Brent Huston, Microsolved, Inc. -- Research shows that people infected with the H1N1 virus may be contagious for up to 10 days from the onset of their symptoms, even after they "feel better". The problem with this is that as they feel better they may return to work or school, thus exposing others to the virus, albeit, inadvertently. Many people simply think that if they feel better, then they must be over the infection and not contagious anymore.
So, as you consider your pandemic plans, please think about the idea of a 10 day work from home program or the like for folks that are symptomatic. Explanation and education can only help, so take the time to explain this cycle to your team.
The following resources can help you better prepare your organization for the H1N1 virus:
- Protecting Your Business in a Pandemic: Plans, Tools, and Advice for Maintaining Business Continuity by Geary W. Sikich.
- Pandemic Influenza Planning: A Step-by-Step Guide For Businesses and Local Governments by Vernon Dorisson
- Tamiflu® Office Preparation for Influenza Season
- Tamiflu® Flu Tracker
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2009 H1N1 Flu
- CDC: Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You
- Association of American Family Physicians: Preparing Your Office for an Infectious Disease Epidemic
- HR Issues and Answers: Preparing Your Workplace for an Influenza Pandemic
Most of these articles emphasize the same thing: create a plan for employees who will be absent due to illness, avoid getting sick by using caution and appropriate measures, if infected, stay home and avoid contact with others.