Employers Warned to Brace for Workers' Absences

Two would be for swine flu, or H1N1, the other for the seasonal strain. Employers are warned to brace for workers' absences. In a sign of heightened concern that the upcoming flu season could be severe, top national and local health officials warned Wednesday that employers should brace for worker absences and cautioned the public that as many as three shots this season may be needed to protect against the H1N1 strain and seasonal flu, Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, the timeframe may mean Australia will be the first country to start mass vaccinations against the new H1N1 virus in one of the largest public health campaigns, said Peter Cordingley , a Manila-based spokesman for the World Health Organization. Other governments plan to follow within months to stem swine flu, which has taken root across the globe faster than any previous influenza pandemic , Bloomberg reports. 

"If an employee stays home sick, it is not only the best thing for that employee's health . . . but the productivity of the company," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said at a news conference , Washington Post reports.

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