The CDC has been warning us for the past three years to be prepared for “when” not “if,” and the “when” is closing in on us very quickly this week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency for swine influenza A (H1N1) viruses. The WHO has moved to a worldwide phase 4 pandemic alert. At a Phase 6 we would be at a full blown pandemic characterized by outbreaks in at least 2 regions of the world. See the “Swine flu updates” post for more on the current status of the outbreak. 
Are you ready? Do you have a written pandemic flu plan?
During my OSHA inspections of medical practices this week, I found that most offices are ill prepared to handle this situation.
If you do not have a written pandemic flu plan, you can easily write one following the guidelines provided at www.pandemicflu.gov . Or you can download the pandemic flu planning documents from the Tools page of the OSHA Healthcare Advisor. 
How do I test for the swine flu? What are the symptoms? When to use a mask or respirator?
I’ll address these questions in my next Notes from the Field.
WASH THOSE HANDS!!!!