The advent of the H1-N1 influenza outbreak earlier this year sent businesses, school districts, and health officials into a frenzy to contain it and to educate the public about how to not spread it.

When the outbreak of the strain, popularly called the swine flu, died here it left nearly a dozen deaths and a growing fear that it would mutate in the southern hemisphere’s winter. Many health experts now fear that the influenza pandemic will return with a vengeance this fall and winter.

One prediction is that half the U.S. population might be infected by H1N1.

To discuss preparedness and containment, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is hosting “Pandemic Flu Planning and Implementation for Employers” on Wednesday, September 30, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Monroe. Cost: $95. Call 609-989-7888.

The program, designed to help employers prepare for and defend against potentially devastating business impact stemming from illness and absenteeism of employees, customers, and critical supply chain partners, will feature speakers Matt Conlon, a pandemic preparedness consultant with Cantel Medical Corp; Kathy Roye-Horn, director of infection prevention at Hunterdon Medical Center; and Mike Paszynsky, vice president of security and claims at PSE&G.

Topics are expected to include an H1N1 background and situation update; formal requirements, guidelines, and recommendations; resource availability; the government’s role; key elements of pandemic preparedness planning, including communication; administrative policies and more

Representatives from New Jersey companies will share their preparedness plans so that you can adopt some of their initiatives

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