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Employers called upon to play their role in safeguarding against the H1N1

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Wednesday, August 5, 2009 – Health officials are also urging employers to play their part in reducing the severity and the extent of the expected spread of the H1N1 virus.


Senior Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Frederick is urging business owners to implement a business continuity plan to ensure that their establishments can continue to function, if staff members contract the virus.

“I know it may be difficult for some people, because you have businesses and those businesses must go on, but if you notice that you have any sick employee or staff member who are exerting any flu like symptoms, kindly advise that they visit the doctor to get checked and get a sick leave for at least one week, because we do not want people spreading the virus around,” said Dr Frederick.


Health officials are also continuing to assure the citizenry that pork is safe for consumption and that the H1N1 virus cannot be contracted by eating swine or any pork product. On July 12, as a precautionary measure against the H1N1, authorities suspended a temporary ban, which was imposed on the importation of pork from the United States.


Chief Veterinary Officer Dr George Joseph, says the pig population has not been exposed to the H1N1 virus but authorities are continuing to monitor the situation closely.


“Pork is very safe to eat. The H1N1 virus is confined to the respiratory tract; there is no evidence of transmission from meat to human subjects. So we would like to reiterate that pork is very safe for consumption and there is no threat or fear of transmission of the H1N1 virus from the consumption of pork,” said Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. George Joseph.


Following confusion over the safety of pork after the virus surfaced, the World Health Organisation (WHO) changed the name of the virus from the Swine Influenza to the North American Influenza.


Authorities have urged the media in particular to relinquish the use of Swine Flu and to adopt the name agreed to by the WHO.

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