Forty-five percent of employees who get sick with the flu believe they caught it from someone at work, according to the medical journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases.” It’s a timely reminder that influenza season will soon be upon us, and that it’s not too early to urge employees to get flu shots.
Vaccines are an easy way for employees to protect themselves and their co-workers from an illness that annually sends more than 3 million Americans to the doctor, hospitalizes 200,000 and kills at least 3,000.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza costs U.S. employees and employers an estimated $87.1 billion in lost worker hours and productivity.
Influenza vaccines — updated for the 2016-2017 season — are available now from health care providers nationwide. While current U.S. flu activity is low, some flu viruses circulate during the summer and influenza activity often begins increasing in October. That’s why the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.
Find information on flu prevention for employers at www.cdc.gov/flu/business/index.htm.