ISSUE 2009-02: April 28, 2009

In This Issue

When is Working Alone Not Working Alone

Precautionary Measures

Recommended Actions

Links to follow for up to the minute information


Quick Links

Refusal of Unsafe Work Flow Chart



If you have questions about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any health, safety or wellness issue, please contact Mark Grabas at 604.730.4509 or markg@bcpsea.bc.ca

Swine Influenza Update

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with the BC Ministry of Health Services in conjunction with health officials from the United States and Mexico to investigate an outbreak of swine influenza.  To date, six human cases of the swine influenza have been confirmed in Canada, with two of those cases in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  Both of the BC cases were reported in travellers returning from Mexico. The following link will be updated as new cases are reported: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/alert-alerte/swine-porcine/surveillance-eng.php

The swine influenza symptoms exhibited in British Columbia are mild and typical of the common flu.  There is no evidence of any increase in severe respiratory illness in British Columbia.  Consequently, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority assures that there is currently no public health concern in British Columbia.

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the BC Ministry of Health Services recommend the following actions:

  • If you have a fever or cough, regardless of where you have travelled, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to limit the possibility of infection.  See a health care provider if your symptoms become worse, but call ahead of time to let them know you have fever or cough.
  • In particular, travelers returning from Mexico who develop a fever and cough within seven days of their return should self-isolate at home for seven days

As with any infectious disease, the following are recommended standard precautionary measures:

  • washhands.jpgCover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  When you cough, do so into your sleeve if possible
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze; alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to limit the spread of germs.

Following is a link to an information bulletin issued today from the Province of British Columbia: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2009HSERV0047-000936.pdf . This information bulletin will be updated regularly and includes useful information on symptoms and precautions to take to avoid contracting this illness.

For additional up to the minute information, visit:

Should you have any questions, call HealthLink BC 8-1-1 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

BC Public School Employers' Association
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