The Effects of Employment on Influenza Rates; finding that a 1% point increase in the employment rate correlating with; increases in the number of influenza relating doctor visits by about 16%. These effects are highly pronouncing in the retail sector; and health care sectors industries with the highest levels of interpersonal contact.
The flu is transmitted from sick to well individuals; when a healthy person either touches a surface containing the flu virus or inhales the virus after an infected person coughs or sneezes. As we discuss in detail below; many of the characteristics or environments associated with modern daily work life may encourage the transmission of the flu.
Effects of employment
These characteristics include commuting via public transportation; working in climate controlling indoor offices, sharing workspaces; and placing young children in daycare. Employers should consider differences in the lost productivity from many employees becoming infected with influenza versus the lost productivity from a few infected individuals taking sick leave.
But workers concerning about missing pay or losing their jobs as the result of staying home from work due to illness will be less likely to heed early signs of influenza infection and stay home. This information could be using by the public health community to plan for the severity of an upcoming flu season.
Public health community
For example, if the economy is on an upswing; the public health community should plan for an above normal increase in flu incidence. Study resulting imply that employment in service industries particularly retail and health care is a particularly strong mechanism for flu spread.
But economy continues to shift to more service oriented employment; the results presenting here suggesting there is greater potential for flu spreading in the future. For example, if the economy is on an upswing, the public health community should plan for an above normal increase in flu incidence. Furthermore, our results imply that employment in service industries particularly retail.