International SOS Survey Finds Only 27 Percent of Large Organizations Have Begun to Implement Avian Flu Preparedness Plan


PHILADELPHIA -- While 91 percent of large corporations consider organizational preparedness for avian flu "important, very important or critical," only 26 percent of firms have begun to implement a pandemic preparedness plan and just one percent have completed a plan, according to a recent survey of 200 Fortune 500 companies and other large organizations conducted by travel and medical assistance provider International SOS. With 4,000 professionals operating in 60 countries, International SOS helps organizations manage the health and safety risks facing their travelers and global workforce.

Pandemic preparedness plans enable companies to mitigate the risk associated with the outbreak of disease, said Dr. Myles Druckman, vice president of medical assistance for International SOS.  "A solid pandemic preparedness plan is critical for organizations to be able to effectively medically manage their employees and travelers, especially in less developed countries.  Any business continuity plan needs to address the issue of pandemic," Druckman added.

Among other highlights of the International SOS survey:

--  72 percent of organizations are "investigating options" for

        implementing a pandemic preparedness plan. (26 percent have "begun to

        implement" a plan.  One percent has "completed" their plan.  Two

        percent said they "do not believe pandemic will be an issue.")

--  Organizations were asked to identify which of the following measures

        they are currently implementing, selecting all measures that apply.

        Their responses:

--  Employee training:            53 percent

--  Travel restrictions:          17 percent

--  Stockpiling antiviral drugs:   6 percent

--  None:                         43 percent

--  Organizations were asked to identify which of the following measures

        they are considering implementing, selecting all measures that apply.

        Their responses:

--  Employee training:             87 percent

--  Travel restrictions:           74 percent

--  Stockpiling antiviral drugs:   28 percent

--  None:                           8 percent

Souce: International SOS


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