SARS outbreak prepares company for possible flu pandemic

SARS outbreak prepares company for possible flu pandemic -...

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SARS outbreak prepares company for possible flu pandemic; Emergency response plan formed after 2003 epidemic.(Spotlight: (Evergreen International Corp. prepares itelf for Severe acute respiratory syndrome). Business Insurance 41.(May 14, 2007): p.21. (1191 words) Show details Full Text : COPYRIGHT 2007 Crain Communications, Inc. Byline: GLORIA GONZALEZ NEW ORLEANS-For Evergreen International Corp., the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic that hit in Taiwan in 2003 served as a dry run for a potential pandemic that could affect a substantial portion of the company's workforce and nearly all of its operations. The SARS outbreak that developed rapidly in Taiwan-headquarters of the hotel, transportation and shipping company-led to the rapid formation and enactment of an emergency response plan that the company believes has prepared it for a major influenza outbreak that experts say is a certainty in the future, said Lin Fu-chiao, senior vp, risk control department for the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company. Risk management departments at companies that have not dealt with SARS often are not as prepared for a pandemic outbreak, with some suffering from what observers refer to as "pandemic fatigue,'' or being tired of hearing about the possible pandemic and necessary readiness preparations. Risk managers preparing for a pandemic say their plans are still evolving and there are key questions that have yet to be answered. Still, there are several steps that can be taken to institute a pandemic response plan, experts say. It's not a matter of if, but when a pandemic will occur, said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "It's going to happen,'' Mr. Osterholm said during the opening address of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.'s 2007 annual conference in New Orleans. "The only issue that we have to discuss is how do we alter what that unfolding risk will be like.'' While risk managers generally are aware of pandemic risk, many are suffering from "pandemic
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SARS outbreak prepares company for possible flu pandemic -...

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