It is not even what would normally be considered flu season and already flu is making the rounds since kids went back to school. This has particularly been the case in the southeastern part of the U.S. Almost all of the current infections are believed to be of the H1N1 variety that caused the panic last spring in Mexico, and which has been declared a pandemic by WHO. In our local area here in Florida, we had several confirmed cases of H1N1 among students in our school district’s various summer activities, and since school started we’ve seen a cluster of flu-like illness at my daughter’s elementary school already.
And the flu season hasn’t even really started yet.
Seasonal flu vaccine is already available in many areas and the vaccine for H1N1 will start being available in the next few weeks. But it will be months before large populations have been vaccinated and had time to develop immunity from the H1N1 shot. In the meantime, the CDC and Department of Homeland Security are advising businesses to develop plans for dealing with sick employees and events like school shutdowns in their communities.
The Department of Homeland Security has made a booklet available to businesses to help them plan for, cope with and minimize the possible effect that H1N1 could have on their business. The book can be downloaded in pdf form or viewed on the flu.gov website.