The Common Cold and Flu


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Illnesses such as colds, flu, stomach upsets, and headaches are the most common cause of short-term employee absences. The spread of these illnesses manifests itself in employee lost work days—absenteeism—which is a substantial cost to businesses, leading to an average number of sick days per employee per year of 7.7 days in the U.S. That health-related lost productive time (LPT) costs employers US$225.8 billion per year. In addition to these direct costs, unplanned absences caused indirect costs due to a 54 percent decrease in productivity/output and a 39 percent drop in sales/customer service.

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