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流感今年将给企业带来多大损失?

Grace Donnelly 2018年02月08日

病假导致的生产力降低将给全美国带来超过154亿美元的损失。

这个流感季是近年来爆发最猛烈的一次。美国疾病控制中心(Centers for Disease Control)的数据显示,流感病毒目前在49个州中广泛传播,医院里有流感相关症状的病人大约是往常年份的两倍。

H3N2型流感的感染性极强,从儿童到美国橄榄球联赛的观众,人人都无法幸免,在第52届超级碗开赛前夕,比赛地明尼阿波利斯的感染病例数陡然上升。

疾病控制中心表示,通常情况下,美国流感季产生的住院和门诊费用约为104亿美元。在美国,流感季一般从10月或11月一直持续到5月,高峰时期往往在12月至2月之间。

在个人的医疗保健成本之外,企业也受到员工患病的影响而生产率降低。疾病控制中心的数据显示,每年美国感染流感的人口比例为5%至20%不等。

这一次流感季的严重程度,也让就业咨询公司Challenger, Gray, & Christmas更新了1月中旬做出的流感季预测。公司原本预测,生产力的降低将带来超过94亿美元的损失。

而最新的预测把损失数额提高了64%,他们认为将有1,800万美国人因为流感病毒至少请假4个八小时工作日。

以26.63美元的平均时薪计算,病假导致的生产力降低将给全国带来超过154亿美元的损失。

公司预计,假如今年流感季的严重程度堪比2009年感染6,000万人的猪流感,那么生产力降低的损失将高达210亿美元。

对小公司而言,员工生病会导致日常运营迅速停滞,但员工带病上班也会让问题更加严重。

Challenger, Gray, and Christmas的副总裁安德鲁·查林杰表示:“员工可能认为‘咬紧牙关’带病上班是正确的选择。”然而,“他们可能会让病毒传播开来,进一步破坏企业的良好运转。”

企业可以通过给员工接种流感疫苗来减少这种损失。

尽管今年流感疫苗的效果不如近几次流感季,但打上一针仍然有用。虽然在秋天打疫苗是最为合适,不过现在也不算太晚。疾病控制中心表示,流感活动将在未来几周内持续。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

This flu season is one of the most intense in recent years. Flu virus activity is currently widespread in 49 states and hospitals are seeing roughly twice the number of patients with flu-related symptoms as in a typical year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The H3N2 strain of the flu is particularly aggressive and is causing problems for everyone from children to the NFL, as the number of cases in Minneapolis spikes ahead of Super Bowl LII.

Typically, according to the CDC, the direct cost of flu season hospitalizations and outpatient care in the U.S. is approximately $10.4 billion. In the U.S., flu season typically begins in October or November and can run through May, with peaks typically occurring between December and February.

Beyond individual health care costs, businesses also take a hit as productivity is lost while employees battle sickness. Between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu each year, according to the CDC.

The severity of the flu this season caused Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, an employment consulting firm, to update its original flu season prediction from mid-January, which projected more than $9.4 billion in lost productivity.

The new estimate raised the previous figure by 64%, predicting that more than 18 million Americans will miss at least four eight-hour shifts due to the flu virus.

Based on the average hourly wage of $26.63, that time out sick could represent more than $15.4 billion in lost productivity across the nation.

If this year’s flu season reaches the severity of the 2009 swine flu epidemic, which infected more than 60 million people, the productivity costs could be as high as $21 billion, according to the firm’s estimates.

For smaller companies, workforce illnesses can quickly put day-to-day operations on hold, but sick employees coming into work also exacerbates the problem.

“Sick workers may think they are doing the right thing by ‘toughing it out’ and coming into work when they feel ill,” Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Vice President Andrew Challenger said. However, “they are only likely to spread their illness, potentially further interrupting optimum business operations.”

Businesses can combat this loss by providing flu shots to their employees.

Although the flu vaccine is a bit less effective this year than in other recent flu seasons, getting a flu shot still helps. While it’s better to get your flu shot in the fall, it’s not too late. According to the CDC, flu activity is expected to continue for several more weeks.

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