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Rapid City Red Cross Takes H1N1 Flu Message to the Workplace
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People don’t want to miss work, they want to learn know how to protect themselves.
November 20, 2009

With the possibility of swine flu infecting as many as 40 percent of the country’s population this fall and winter, the Black Hills Area Chapter of the American Red Cross in Rapid City, South Dakota, has jumped into action.

Red Cross director Russ Korzenieski leads a Pandemic Flu workshop.
Red Cross director Russ Korzenieski leads a Pandemic Flu workshop.
Photo credit: Black Hills Area Chapter

Red Crossers are providing pandemic flu presentations throughout the community. Schools. Churches. Civic organizations. Businesses. If there is interest, the Red Cross makes a visit, bringing information about the virus and how to help prevent its spread.

More than 20 Rapid City businesses have already received the Red Cross pandemic flu training. That means several hundred workers have learned things they can do to keep from getting the flu.

“People are glad to hear there is something they can do to help prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus,” says Red Cross director Russ Korzenieski. “A lot of employees don’t want to miss work.”

In the workplace, as at home, healthy personal behaviors are key to preventing the spread of H1N1. Frequent hand washing—covering your cough with a tissue or sleeve—staying at home when you feel sick—getting a flu shot—all are common sense practices that can make a difference.

The Red Cross workplace presentation also reminds employers to take a look at their sick policies and to bring them in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for businesses. Red Cross trainers talk about janitorial practices that can make a difference, such as disinfecting door knobs, telephone receivers and light switches.

Korzenieski observes that people are genuinely concerned. The Red Cross program to prepare Rapid City workers is the first line of defense.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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