Health officials release public guidelines for handling swine flu - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Health officials release public guidelines for handling swine flu outbreak


(NBC - KTIV) - The Obama Administration on Wednesday advised American businesses on how to fight the swine flu and keep operating at the same time.

Liberal sick leave, telecommuniting, cross-training and contingency plans.

Those are just a few of the suggestions top health and commerce officials are giving to America's business leaders.

Children are back in school; and so is the swine flu.

Now the government wants businesses to get ready for the inevitable spread of the h1n1 virus and plan now to accommodate workers who might be sidelined.

"In America we love to praise the puritan work ethic and with reason  but this fall, it would serve the country better to praise common sense and responsibility," said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

If employees get sick, they should go home and stay home.

Businesses should draw up contingency plans to keep operating.

The vital oil and gas industries are already taking action.

"So their critical employees have backup, cross-training has occurred, telecommuting has been explored; whatever needs to be done," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

H.H.S. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is playing down this week's news that only 45 million vaccine doses will be ready when the flu season takes off.

"We're very much on target.  We are working with five different manufacturers," said Sebelius.

In Nashville doctors began the first clinical vaccine tests for children, two weeks after adult trials started.

For children like Luke Donahue - it's no big deal.

"Just like a regular old shot, nothing much," said Donahue.

His mom, a doctor, thinks otherwise.

"We realized how important it is and how minimal the risk is, compared to the benefit," said mom Janet Donahue.

Back in Washington, representatives from 37 countries are comparing notes and swapping strategies on fighting the flu.

The first pandemic of the twenty-first century.

Experts say the best flu safety advice is two words, hands, home.

Keep your hands clean, and stay at home if you get sick.

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