International SOS, a leading provider of global
medical assistance, international healthcare, security services
and outsourced customer care, has added a number of enhancements
to its Pandemic Information Service in the run-up to the
traditional peak flu season.
New features include a scoring system designed
to give companies at-a-glance access to how H1N1 is impacting
countries; vaccination availability; and border screening
Since the outbreak of H1N1 in April,
there have been more than 414,000 laboratory-confirmed
cases and nearly 5,000 deaths worldwide, according to
the World Health Organization as of 17 October 2009.
"With H1N1 an ever
present threat and with new cases reported everyday globally,
companies are seeking comprehensive information in real-time so
that their pandemic plans can be updated to reduce employee
absenteeism, keep their workforce safe and healthy to ensure
business continuity wherever they have a presence," said Dr.
Robert Allen, Regional Medical Director, Asia, International SOS.
International SOS' Pandemic Information Service provides a
central repository of information from over 40 countries on H1N1
developments including border screening, quarantine, and isolation
HR managers and corporate health administers can tap
on this useful source of information and advice and incorporate
them into their risk management programmes and pandemic plans that
may impact a company's international business travellers and
International SOS doctors have also developed a
H1N1 Impact Scoring System that details the impact of the pandemic
at both local and national levels. Based on four criteria i.e. the
virus' geographical spread, the flu activity, and strain on
medical services and business services, the resulting scores helps
decision makers plan relevant pandemic planning interventions more
For example, China, Japan, South Korea,
Malaysia, and Thailand are all considered to be countries where
H1N1 is widespread but the actual strain on medical services and
the disruption of services is considered low.
Companies can also be better prepared by
accessing the Pandemic Influenza Service Learning tool that
provides training to employees on protective measures they can
take to reduce infection rates. A special module that specifically
addresses H1N1 is now available and can easily be accessed online.
"While some governments and health organisations
are providing information on a regular basis, only International
SOS' Pandemic Information Service gives companies visibility on a
worldwide basis and provides comprehensive tools that enable
companies to make informed decisions to ensure 'business as
usual'," Dr. Allen added.
Members of the public can access general
information relating to pandemic preparedness via the
International SOS website while International SOS' corporate
customers gain access to more exclusive content.
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