Businesses and bird flu
| 03.16.2006 | 09:39:00 | Views: 3022 | ID:
March 16 '06: Though governments around the world are preparing for what many fear is an inevitable bird flu outbreak among humans, the New York Times reported Thursday, businesses may be the most important part of the plan to keep vital services running around the world, and many businesses might not be prepared.
Mark Layton, a risk services expert at Deloitte & Touche in New York City said, "I tell companies to use their imagination to think of all the unintended consequences. ... Will suppliers be able to deliver goods? How about services they've outsourced - are they still reliable?" The Times reported many experts finding "many essential functions would have to continue despite the likelihood of a depleted workforce and limited transportation. Up to 40 percent of employees could be sick at one time."That news comes on the same day that five Asian nations and one European nation confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus in their domestic poultry flocks, or in the wild bird population. Meanwhile, "Swiss drug maker Roche said it was boosting output of its flu drug Tamiflu by a third." And in "India, veterinary workers began throttling more than 70,000 birds to try to control the latest outbreak there. Hundreds of people were also tested for fever," as countries race to curb the rise of infections and look for possible outbreaks of the virus from human to human. However, despite the growing unrest among international governments health organizations, "many companies have only rudimentary contingency plans in place. In a survey of more than 100 executives in the United States, Dloitte & Touche, released this January, two-thirds said their companies had not yet prepared adequately for avian flu, and most had no one specifically in charge of a plan."
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