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TXANS
TXANS Association of Responsible Nonsubscribers

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TXANS's News/Press Releases

06/02/2006

BUSINESSES TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN FEDERAL BIRD FLU PREPARATIONS

Avian influenza more commonly known as bird flu is a disease of birds caused by the influenza virus. Bird flu viruses do not usually infect humans but in the past few years there have been a number of confirmed cases of human infection from bird flu viruses. In the event of pandemic influenza, businesses will play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society.

The U.S. Government states that in a worst-case scenario the virus will kill 2 million people and infect 50 million more and that U.S. businesses should plan on the assumption that up to 40 percent of their staff may be absent for periods of about 2 weeks at the height of a pandemic wave. Absenteeism will increase not only because of personal illness or incapacitation but also because employees may be caring for ill family members, under voluntary home quarantine due to an ill household member, minding children dismissed from school, following public health guidance, or simply staying at home out of safety concerns.

To help businesses and others prepare, a 228-page report outlines preparation, detection and response to a potential pandemic.


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