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Businesses prepare for swine flu

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: As people ask what they can do to stay healthy, one area of concern
is the office. Jennifer Collins tells us how businesses are responding to the outbreak.


Jennifer Collins: If you're worried about swine flu at work, you've got company.

Ann Brockhaus advises clients like 3-M, Chevron and Boeing on health and safety in the office. She says many companies are still forming their plans for swine flu response.

Ann Brockhaus: People are just struggling with what the nature of this flu is and really concentrating right now on ways to prevent transmission of infection.

Yesterday, Brockhaus spoke to nearly 300 companies on a conference call about the swine flu outbreak. She says before businesses go out and buy boxes of rubber gloves and masks, they should first make sure employees are educated about how the flu spreads.

Epidemiologist Ann Marie Kimball says it's important not to overreact:

Ann Marie Kimball: So we have to be careful that the energy we put into this, we put into good, constructive, public health worthy actions instead of silliness.

Kimball says the best action is to let sick workers stay home so they can get better.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.
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The flu epidemic of 1918 was brought back to the US from abroad by soldiers returning from World War I. This pandemic killed my Great Grandmother when she was still a very young woman and killed people all around the world. She left behind a husband and a six month old son. Global commerce is aiding the distribution of this virus which threatens to be just as deadly as the 20th Century pandemic that took so many lives. International travel, over population and people to people infection will allow this virus to leave its mark upon our century. We can ask God to help us but this may be his doing.

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