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State agencies preparing in case of pandemic flu outbreak

By Bob Conrad

Governor’s Office news release:

B00526_H1N1_flu_sml“Preparedness” and “prevention” were key words at a special Pandemic Flu Summit for state agencies and others yesterday. The summit was set up so state agencies could exchange information about pandemic flu (including H1N1 and regular seasonal flu) and continuity of operations plans for essential state services in the event of a widespread flu outbreak in Nevada.

“It is prudent for state agencies and state workers to be prepared in the event of a large outbreak of flu,” Governor Jim Gibbons said, “We need to be sure we are ready to serve the citizens of Nevada, even if our own state employees and agencies are impacted.” Governor Gibbons is encouraging all Nevada businesses and organizations to take similar actions to protect their continuity of operations and employees by taking steps to prevent the spread of flu and create contingency plans in case flu outbreaks emerge.

“As the largest employer in the state, we felt it was imperative to have planning tools in place as soon as possible.”

There have been just over 1,000 confirmed H1N1 cases in Nevada. Flu prevention advice remains the same:

  • Practice good general hygiene
  • Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Recommendation with any type of flu- stay at home until 24 hours pass with no fever

“As the largest employer in the state, we felt it was imperative to have planning tools in place as soon as possible. We want to make sure our employees and their families are protected,” said Pandemic Flu Committee Chairperson and Director of Personnel, Teresa Thienhaus.

Many state agencies have designated Pandemic Flu Coordinators. These coordinators will keep employees and managers updated, monitor workplace absenteeism and report any worksite closures if they occur.

A vast amount of information and links about seasonal flu and H1N1 can be found on the Nevada State Health Division’s website at www.flu.nv.gov.

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