At Quest Diagnostics, we are receiving a number of questions from our employer customers about how they should address the implications of the H1N1 influenza virus in the workplace. The information below is designed to educate employers and employees on what can be done to reduce the workplace risks associated with H1N1 influenza.
The H1N1 influenza virus presents a threat to the health and safety of your employees. As a result, the attendance and productivity of your workforce is also at risk. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published a tremendous, fact-based resource for anyone interested in learning more. On their website, the CDC states, “If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. You should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible, including avoiding travel and not going to work or school, for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.” This is an important message for employees and for employers. Since the H1N1 virus is spread via person-to-person contact, it is essential that individuals who test positive for the H1N1 virus not come to work while they are ill.
Individuals who exhibit flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, headaches, body aches, fatigue, cough, sore throat, shortness of breadth, vomiting and diarrhea should consult with their physician. A physician may decide to test specifically for the H1N1 influenza virus and prescribe treatment.
Quest Diagnostics is the first commercial lab to be granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA to test for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Additionally, Quest Diagnostics is also the first lab able to differentiate the seasonal flu virus from the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus – an important distinction as treatment options are considered.
We have a variety of resources to assist individuals and employers who are interested in learning more about the H1N1 influenza virus.
– Quest Diagnostics aired a webinar discussing the H1N1 influenza virus and its impacts
– Quest Diagnostics has also published an online educational resource
– The Center for Disease Control website presents information on symptoms, treatment, etc.
For more information about drug testing, visit our website.