Washington — Government officials are calling on U.S. businesses to help manage swine flu this fall by getting vaccines to vulnerable workers and encouraging employees with symptoms to stay home.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Wednesday that employers should develop plans for managing both seasonal and swine flu. Businesses should encourage employees who are at-risk for swine flu to get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available. First in line are pregnant women, health care workers and younger adults with conditions such as asthma.
The government is trying to prepare for the possibility of a widespread outbreak this fall, which could hurt businesses along with the broader economy by keeping workers home. Unlike regular seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu has not retreated during the hot and humid summer months, and so far has infected more than 1 million Americans.