Posts Tagged ‘swine flu’

Swine Flu Update #7

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expert perspective telescopeExpert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel

According to the article “H1N1 has killed 2,837, but not more serious: WHO”, by Reuter’s journalist Stephanie Nebehay, the World Health Organization has reported updated information on the H1N1 virus based on data from South America, which is coming out of winter, and parts of Asia, which are experiencing an early flu season.  So far, in terms of its deadliness, the H1N1 has not evolved into a very deadly strain.  So far, so good.
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We Wish We Were WRONG

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel

expert perspective telescopeAn August 28, 2009 article by Reuters journalist Maggie Fox (WHO Warns of Severe Form of Swine Flu) shares that “Doctors are reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs, causing severe illness in otherwise healthy young people…”.

Grahall could be gloating.  We predicted way ahead of the “experts” that H1N1 was trending badly (see H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update #4 ) and that it was affecting young adults more than children and the elderly, and that its virulence was its attack on the lungs (see Swine Flu Update #6 .)

However we are not gloating; in fact, we would have preferred to be wrong.

Now, let’s take a look at the cost impact on employers. 
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Together, our vision widens and strength is renewed (Mark Morrison-Reed)

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Expert Perspective by Arlene Brewster, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

expert perspective telescopeGiven the certainty that the swine flu epidemic will reappear this fall and winter, employers need to make contingency plans for their work forces. Robert Cirkeil’s blog on the subject put in reference and link) suggests thorough preparation by employers is necessary to mitigate the pandemic’s effects on their employees.  (Click here to link to Robert Cirkiel’s most recent blog on the subject of Swine Flu and find links to his previous blogs).
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Swine Flu Update #6

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel

expert perspective telescopeIn a Reuters article published on CNBC.com (“Novavax Reports Progress on Swine Flu; Shares Jump”) Novavax reports that they have developed a “new kind of influenza vaccine works against the new swine flu virus in animals… in fewer than four weeks after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the genetic sequence of the H1N1 swine flu virus, which is now causing a pandemic.”  Novavax may be the first to report, but there are a number of pharmaceutical companies developing H1N1 flu vaccines.  This attention bodes well for lowering concerns about scarcity or delays, in North America and Europe where flu season is soon approaching.
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Update #5: H1N1 Flu Could Be a Big Problem in US

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel expert perspective telescope

A recent news story by Mike Stobby, AP Medical Writer  “Swine flu could hit up to 40 percent in US” caught my attention.  He writes:  ”In a disturbing new projection, health officials say up to 40 percent of Americans could get swine flu this year and next and several hundred thousand could die without a successful vaccine campaign and other measures.”

I have been blogging on the subject of the H1N1 flue for several weeks now (find link to prior blogs below) and I agree that this could become pretty bad.   I’m a “prediction guy” so my focus is on the trends and there are a few indicators I don’t like.  The fact that it’s summertime and there’s no abatement in the number of new cases is the most concerning. Viruses mutate continuously and whether this one turns into a mass murderer or not is anyone’s guess. Tamiflu has already been ineffective in a number of instances so if everyone with the flu takes Tamiflu, the resistent strain will eventually prevail and perhaps become the virulent strain.  I can just imagine how five years from now TV talking heads with 20/20 hindsight will be expousing about how giving everyone Tamiflu was the turning point in the losing battle against H1N1. Stay tuned for more on this subject. 

Email Robert Cirkiel at robert.cirkiel@grahall.com

Link to Robert’s prior blogs on this subject:   Link to Original Post.   Link to Update #2Link to Update #3. Link to Update #4.

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How Can I Prepare My Company for an H1N1 Pandemic?

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Ask the Expert: How Can I Prepare my Company for an H1N1 Pandemic?
By Robert Cirkiel

Chess board as metaphor for business strategy by Grahall ConsultingAs the lazy days of summer wind down, vacations end, Labor day arrives and Americans return “full steam ahead” to work and school, we should keep in mind that this time of year will also ring in the flu season.  
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H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update #4

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expert perspective telescopeExpert Perspective by Robert Cirkiel

In the past few days H1N1 news has come in tidbits.  Each on its own seems like no big deal but when considered together I don’t like the trend.
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Swine Flu Update #3

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expert perspective telescopeExpert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel.

Positive sign. The CDC released the May 25 numbers – 6,764 cases. So for one week anyway, the doubling didn’t happen in the United States. 

Concurrently, Mexico had good news this week too as it reported no new outbreaks. Let’s hope this thing dissipates and does not reappear in the fall.

Read more on this subject from Robert Cirkiel.

Email Robert Cirkiel at robert.cirkiel@grahall.com

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Swine Flu Update #2

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expert perspective telescopeExpert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel.

The CDC reports a growing number of Swine Flu cases:
April 27:        20
May 4:      1,000
May 11:    2,600
May 18:    5,100

GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS

Let’s start with the bad news. The number is doubling or more each week.   This suggests that the disease has neither run its course nor dissipated.  If it continues to double there would be 1.3 million US cases just 8 weeks from now.  This is not an outlandish result.  Think of how many people you’re in contact with each week and if you were a carrier, how reasonable an outcome it would be if just one of those people came down with it?

However, the good news is that the flu has not become dangerously more virulent yet.  Also, the timing has been good in that summer is not far off and there is a possibility that the incidence will taper off.

Ideally, by the time cold weather hits later this fall it could
(1) dissipate,
(2) fail to increase in virulence, and/or
(3) vaccines could be widely available.
Read more on this subject from Robert Cirkiel.
Email Robert Cirkiel at robert.cirkiel@grahall.com

Read more on this subject from Robert Cirkiel.

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Swine Flu: What Employers Really Need To Know

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel

With all the media attention around swine flu, many employers are asking what they can do to prepare.  Robert Cirkiel shares his suggestions.  


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