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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday July 22, 2009
Business leaders are expecting a bad bout of swine flu this fall, says the Conference Board of Canada's latest report on pandemic preparedness.

And the underlying message of the report is that companies need to start readying now for the strain of the H1N1 virus to get worse. The Ottawa-based group says business leaders expect the virus to spread more quickly and be more virulent than it has so far.

"The H1N1 virus is behaving differently than organizations expected. Even though the summer months are not usually hospitable to the influenza virus, H1N1 continues to spread quickly," Trefor Munn-Venn, the board's director of national security and public safety, said in a statement.

"Hope is not an option for organizations - they should begin responding now.

"Those organizations that don't already have a plan need to recognize just how serious the pandemic is expected to be and start preparing both their staff and their businesses."

For those reasons the report says it's important for companies to communicate clearly with employees, customers and partners. That also means striking the right balance between too many and too few messages, the report adds.

Getting top management behind pandemic preparedness plans so resources can be quickly allocated is also seen as a key priority for companies.

The report comes out of a meeting convened last Month by the Conference Board with organizations that have prepared for a pandemic. Continued....

Prepare now for fall spread of H1N1
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