Flu Transference = Job Absence

28th February 2011

As of January 2011, cold and flu-related job non-attendance is 12% higher than it was back in 2009, according to FirstCare, an absence management firm that provides support to managers and their employees to minimise absence.

After working closely with private and public sector organisations, the survey concluded that business owners and management absorb almost 1,098,000 sick days, roughly attributing to a whopping £182 million in lost productivity.

This, plus the harsh weather and an already struggling economy, makes for a tough year.

Health Protection Agency, the public health regulator, stated the flu activity was a “mixed bag” during December and January across the UK.

The agency warned, "Some indicators suggest that the level of flu activity is on the rise, causing job security to hang in the balance.”

The predominant strains circulating are Influenza, Influenza B, H1N1, or "swine" flu; however, there have been sporadic reports of H3N2, which have resulted in some severe cases among a small proportion of long-term career workers.

Professor John Watson, supervisor of HPA Respiratory Diseases said, "It is important that newly recruited, along with long-time career staffers do everything they can to lessen the spread of the virus.

Workers need to maintain good hand and cough hygiene whilst on the job. Covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing and disposing of the tissues will greatly reduce flu transmission.”

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