As scientists learn more about the H1N1 virus, guidance regarding the most appropriate preventative measures changes. The current CDC stance on when it is appropriate for ill employees to return to work after diagnosed or probable infection with H1N1 is to wait until 24 hours after their fever breaks without fever reducing medication. However, new research indicates that the virus may still be transmittable for a number of days after that, and instead, waiting until their cough subsides is a stronger indicator of a person’s (lack of) infectiousness.
The new research, presented last week at the American Society for Microbiology conference, found that 8 days after symptoms appeared, anywhere from 19 to 75 percent of tested individuals (depending on the type of test used) still had the virus in their nasal cavities, an indication that the virus could still be shed and transmitted to others.
Whatever guidance your organization provides to your employees, be sure to recommend that all employees, sick or not, adhere to behavior modifying preventative measures, like covering their coughs and washing hands frequently, to prevent the transmission of the virus from or to themselves.
For more information on these new studies, click on the following link:
Stacy Gardner, Consultant
Avalution Consulting: Business Continuity Consulting