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Posts Tagged ‘Swine Flu’

11 Safety Tips for 2011

Monday, December 27th, 2010
Safe Combination at 2011

BE SAFE in 2011

  1. Be prepared…for everything and anything! At home and at work, the most important step you can take to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of coworkers, employees, family and friends, is to prepare. For ideas, look to FEMA’s recently announced “Resolve to be Ready in 2011” campaign, which features several suggestions for disaster preparedness. What’s more, our own blog posts provide food for fodder.
  2. Drill. A timely example of how preparation is critical for saving lives occurred at a San Antonio CPS office building which caught fire on December 20.  According to news’ reports, all 400 of the building’s occupants were forced to evacuate the building before 9 a.m., at which point the company’s emergency evacuation plans were put into effect. No doubt benefiting from the safety plan and associated regular fire drills, preparation paid off as every employee escaped without injury.
  3. Protect yourself from cyber-terrorism. As we rely more and more on all things electronic, we must be diligent to guard ourselves against identity theft. Four out of five victims of Identity Theft encounter serious issues as a result of the crime, such as lowered credit scores, bankruptcy, foreclosure, or even prison time. So protect your Internet passwords by creating them randomly and changing them frequently.
  4. Guard against health risks. Although the flood of sensational news’ stories about Cholera, the Swine Flu and SARS have ebbed, you still run the risk of contracting viruses and bacteria if you fail to take precautions to remain healthy. One of the easiest ways to do this is to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands. Also, take advantage of vaccinations designed to protect you against illnesses such as Influenza or Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
  5. Consider your location. Since different types of disasters occur depending on your location, pay attention to geography and history when you prepare for natural or man-made disasters. If you live on the coast, for example, plan for tsunamis. If you get snow, make winterizing a priority. If you live near a fault line, make sure you are ready for earthquakes.
  6. Heed storm warnings. While some natural disasters, such as earthquakes, come without warning, many others are relatively easy to predict. So, if you live in an area where hurricanes or tornadoes are common, follow forecasts. And when an event is anticipated, take necessary steps to ensure your own safety as well as that of emergency workers, who might be put in harm’s way if they have to brave the elements in order to rescue you. 
  7. Do the right thing. Don’t cut corners. Take a cue from the recent Shanghai Fire, which some believe resulted from contractors who cut corners. Applicable to all areas of life, doing what’s right will help keep everyone safe in 2011 and beyond.
  8. Go green. You don’t have to be a hippie to understand the importance of protecting our planet. Today, millions of electronics are shipped to developing countries where they are dissembled, often in a crude manner, which exposes workers and the environment to contaminants such as mercury, sulfur, and lead. This practice puts us all at risk. So do your part this year to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
  9. Travel safely. Try to be patient if you fly. While it might be inconvenient to take off your belt, shoes and jewelry at the security gate, and possibly undergoing a TSA pat-down, these safety measures are in place to keep us safe.
  10. Fight fire with fire prevention. The surest way to fight fire is to prevent it. The National Fire Protection Association has sponsored Fire Prevention Week each year since the Great Chicago Fire roared through Chicago in 1871. This year’s push is to install smoke alarms. So if you haven’t installed them in your commercial property building or at home, do so today!
  11. Keep learning. Our corporate mission is to save lives through training with the motto “Be Safe!” The Allied Universal Training System 2.0 is a fully integrated system which allows property management companies to manage one site or an entire portfolio, with all users in the same system.

If you own or manage commercial property, by enrolling in the system, please consider our system, which trains occupants, floor wardens, and fire safety directors. What’s more; all user training and testing is recorded. Get quick access to building-specific Emergency Responder information and other resources. We hope you’ll include us in your plans to keep tenants, residents and family and friends safe in 2011 and beyond.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Hack! Shiver! Sneeze! Cough!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

There are steps you can take to ward off the flu.

While winter often brings to mind holiday parties and gift exchanges, it’s also a miserable time for those unfortunate souls who get sick. The typical air inside an office building is circulated less than 12 times an hour, compared to 15 times per hour on a plane. Think about that the next time you worry about getting sick from “stale” cabin air. With flu vaccines resulting in employees taking 45% fewer sick days, more companies are taking notice and getting involved in prevention.

When most people think about winter diseases, the first thing that comes to mind is influenza. It’s estimated that 5 to 20 percent of U.S. adults come down with seasonal flu every year. According to the CDC, 119 million doses of flu vaccine had been distributed this year as of September 24. That amount is a substantial increase of 30 million doses, compared to the amounts which were sent the same time last year. Although analysts at the CDC are predicting a milder flu season this winter, they are still stressing that everyone gets vaccinated.

You may ask, “What about H1N1, the “swine flu?” It’s still out there, although research estimates that 59% of the U.S. population is now immune.

Respiratory Synctial Virus, commonly known as RSV, is another very common lung and respiratory tract infection. It’s so prevalent that researchers state almost all children age two and under have had the disease. While it is the biggest threat to smaller children, and especially premature infants, RSV can also cause problems for adults, sending individuals who have heart or lung disease to the hospital. As a building owner or manager, you can take steps to educate RSV-infected individuals about the benefits of staying at home, away from tenants and employees who are parents of small children.

What can property-owners and managers do to mitigate the effects of winter illness?

  • Set up a flu vaccine clinic at your building. Many private companies will provide qualified nurses, consent forms and the latest vaccine.
  • Distribute information about recognizing the symptoms of flu and other winter diseases.
  • Consider new HVAC systems that better circulate and clean the air.
  • Encourage tenants to adopt policies regarding sick employees, including work-from-home arrangements for vital staff.

A real focus on workplace health can pay immediate and long-term benefits. Healthier employees mean more productive and profitable tenants whose success might necessitate additional office or industrial space.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Swine Flu Swan Song

Friday, October 16th, 2009
Nasal spray

The swine flu nasal spray is not recommended for kids under age 2

As our series on the swine flu winds down, so does the nationwide panic over H1N1, as vaccines and nasal spray are finally readily available throughout the country. Health care providers in California have received more than 400,000 doses of H1N1 FluMist, a nasal spray, as well as thousands of doses of the injectable vaccine.

By the end of flu season, California plans to order over 22 million doses of each. To date, more than 2,700 hospitalizations and 206 deaths in California have been caused by the H1N1 flu since April,  according to Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health.

Though both vaccines and the nasal spray are safe for most people, and have been thoroughly tested, it is important to know the facts about all of the treatment options before deciding which one to receive.

The following are advised NOT to take the nasal spray:

The inject-able vaccine has far fewer adverse symptoms and so is possibly a safer choice. Check to see whether it is available in your area. Those especially urged to get the vaccine include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children ages 6-24 months old
  • People who spend time around infants
  • Health care providers
  • Anyone with a chronic illness who is especially susceptible to disease

Something else to consider: One of the swine flu vaccine manufacturers,one of the swine flu vaccine manufacturers, Sanofi Pasteur, suggests that children under age 10 are likely to need two shots to be fully protected. Federal officials said the news is not surprising, since this age group needs two doses of regular seasonal flu vaccine the very first time they ever are given a flu vaccine, for full immunity to develop.

The new Sanofi results back up what government tests are showing, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For younger children, the protection from one shot is “modest but not sufficient to allow for one dose to do the trick,” he said.

Though the focus should be on high-risk groups, experts recommend that anyone who wants the vaccine should get it, provided there is enough left-over supply for the general population. Since California is expected to receive over 22 millions doses (with 18 million of them being injectable) by the end of flu season, the likelihood of sufficient doses for everyone is very high.

Remember, obtaining either the nasal spray or vaccine to prevent swine flu is just another way for you to BE SAFE!

Swine Flu Facts Part 2

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Part 2 in a Series

CDC_PCR_diagnostic_testkit_smlResearchers at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are currently working overtime to finish developing a vaccine for the much anticipated outbreak of H1N1, also known as the swine flu. In clinical tests and limited trials, medicines such as Tamiflu or Relenza have been effective in keeping the current strain of the virus at bay.

H1N1 is said to be a combination of human influenza, the avian flu, and several other diseases, combined. However, there is some speculation as to whether or not these medications will work over the long haul. Some theorize that this strain of the virus will mutate and spread at a faster rate than other forms of the flu.

Once a substantial supply of the vaccine is manufactured and distributed, the public will be urged to go to local clinics or doctors’ offices to be vaccinated. Even though the odds that the swine flu will claim your life are slim (.01%), if you do not take proper precautions, you could unwittingly spread the virus to others. According to a report released by MSNBC, people can catch the virus and escape the symptoms, only to survive and pass the swine flu to someone else, who could have a fatal reaction.

Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken in order to avoid spreading or contracting this dangerous flu.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Limit travel, if your transportation includes breathing recycled air (like on an airplane, train or a bus).
  • Contain your cough by coughing into a tissue, or (if necessary) your sleeved elbow, instead of your hand (which will invariably spread germs).
  • Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
  • Be careful to thoroughly rinse all of the produce that you buy, as you never know where it’s been and who has handled it.
  • Visit your doctor immediately if you start to develop symptoms of swine flu, like headaches or body aches.

Swine flu can be deadly, and it is imperative that you see your physician immediately if you experience suspicious symptoms. If your doctor confirms your diagnosis, he or she will prescribe Tamiflu or Relenza, which are both effective if taken within the first 36 hours of onset. The consequences of not going to your doctor could be devastating.

Swine flu takes only seven days to manifest. And, if it goes untreated, the virus can claim a life in little more than a week. This is why it’s important to be extremely cautious. Aside from antiviral drugs and vaccines, staying home and monitoring your symptoms are crucial.

Knowing what to do before you are in an emergency situation (such as developing swine flu symptoms), can mean the difference between life and death. Allied Universal, Inc. is committed to providing resources that help people be prepared, which saves lives.


Swine Flu Facts

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Part 1 of a 4-part seriesB00528_H1N1_flu_blue_sml

Though H1N1 (also known as the Swine Flu) is, ultimately, just another flu bug, it’s hard to avoid panic when bombarded with forecasts that the entire population may fall victim to a global pandemic.

Fortunately, getting the swine flu is not a sudden death sentence. In fact, a very small percentage of people who contract it die from it. Nevertheless, there remain several legitimate reasons that it is better to avoid contracting it at all, the least of which is that dealing with any flu virus is uncomfortable and inconvenient. More importantly, more people die from the swine flu than from any other known strain.

H1N1 was first discovered in La Gloria, a small town in Southern Mexico in March of 2009. Soon thereafter, more cases were reported in the United States and Europe, inspiring people to wear masks and gloves in public. Fear spread, as thousands worried about contracting the “deadly virus.” Surprisingly enough, the much-feared swine flu has a mortality rate of just 0.01%. This is, admittedly, a much larger percentage than the seasonal flu, which claims only %0.001 of its victims. So, it’s important to recognize the symptoms associated with every strain of the flu.

Unlike a common cold, Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following:

  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many illnesses, including the common cold, can cause similar symptoms. Although most of the symptoms of the seasonal flu and the swine flu are similar, the swine flu almost always includes vomiting and diarrhea, in every age group. And while a common cold can knock you out for a few days, a flu bug will usually persist for up to a week or more. If your symptoms seem more intense than a typical cold, seek medical attention.

Though people usually recover completely from the swine flu, the mortality rate seems to be the highest in people under age 25. Young children and babies also need to be careful when going out in public, where they could possibly contract H1N1. And while, oddly enough, elderly people seem to be more immune to swine flu than younger folks, they need to take special precautions, because the swine flu can cause respiratory problems, which can also lead to death.

Allied Universal, Inc. is dedicated to safety, and preparedness. If you are armed with information about the flu, it may be easier to avoid catching it in the first place. For more more information about the H1N1 virus, visit WebMD or the CDC website.

Next week in our special series about the swine flu, we’ll look at what you should do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the Influenza.

In the meantime, BE SAFE!!!