Despite the flu hitting later than usual this year, it has had no problem making up for lost time. Flu season has arrived and it has arrived with a vengeance. Widespread flu activity has been reported by the CDC in the majority of the United States in the past week.
The map above displays flu activity as reported by the CDC
Flu Season Happens Every Year, What’s the Big Deal?
Typically, the flu trickles along over the course of the fall and winter months, affecting people here and there, but overall, very manageable. This year there hasn’t been much flu activity, until now. Despite the late start, the virus has managed to affect more people this year in a shorter amount of time than previous years. Between the small time window and the increased amount of flu-infected people, the virus has become widespread in more than 37 states. In fact, Schools are having to be proactive and close their doors to prevent the outbreak from getting any worse.
Madison Christian School in Groveport, Ohio reported that 46 students and 6 teachers were absent or had to leave school on February 13th. As a result, the school decided to close for the next three days as a precautionary measure. In Minco, Oklahoma, one public school closed its doors for the week due to the large amount of students out with the flu. Nazareth Academy Grade School in Philadelphia had 75 out of their 200 students absent with the flu on Tuesday, February 14th, resulting in the school being closed on Wednesday for cleaning. Having schools close all across the nation due to the flu is a pretty good indication of just how serious this outbreak really is.
You can read more on the outbreaks by clicking here.
Southern states such as Georgia and Tennessee have seen some of the highest levels of flu activity in the United States. In fact, Dr. Patricia Meadors at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta said, “there have been more patients than usual who are having to be admitted to the hospital due to the flu.” According to the Georgia Department of Health, one person has died as a result of the flu so far this season.
YES this can affect YOUR Company!
If your company is located, anywhere in the United States right now, there is a high chance you could be affected until this widespread flu outbreak subsides. In the meantime, employers need to be prepared for ways that your company can be affected by the current flu outbreak.
Below are a few ways your company may be at risk:
- Reduced workforce
- Lost sales opportunities
- Customer service Issues
- Backlogged work
With this being said, employers need to plan ahead of time for flu outbreaks to ensure that they are prepared for the worst. Click here to download Preparis’ Planning for Pandemic Influenza Checklist to find out if your company is prepared for the flu. You can also click here to download the Preparis Reduced Workforce Tabletop Exercise to help your company’s leadership plan around working with a reduced workforce.