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Influenza Infection Costs Employees Billions Each Year; Working Adults Largest Group Not Immunized Annually
Date:2/24/2009

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN URGES DETROIT EMPLOYERS TO SEE INFLUENZA AS A CREDIBLE BUSINESS THREAT

DETROIT, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Influenza results in billions of dollars in lost wages every year, and recent studies found that an estimated 75 million missed workdays a year, and about 200 million days of restricted activity, are due to this vaccine-preventable disease. Yet vaccination rates remain alarmingly low, especially among working adults. In fact, adults between the ages of 18 and 49, typical ages of those in the workplace, have the lowest influenza immunization rates of any other age group.(1,2)

To help prevent influenza from spreading throughout the workplace and elsewhere, various local employers, including Wayne State University, have partnered with the American Lung Association of Michigan to bring Faces of Influenza to the Detroit area. Annual influenza vaccination is the best protection available against the disease, and provides a proven business advantage both to companies and their employees.

With stories of economic hardships widespread in Detroit, the American Lung Association of Michigan's Faces of Influenza program urges those who have not been vaccinated yet to schedule an appointment. Locally, between 47,563 and 190,254 Detroit area residents will suffer from influenza in an average year - resulting in missed days at work and lost wages.

"It is critical that our staff be vaccinated against the flu because it is easily spread among employees, and then home to more vulnerable members of their families," said Laura Bertalan, of the American Lung Association of Michigan. "By making sure we are vaccinated, we have a significant impact on lessening the severity and length of the flu in our community."

Influenza is not the common cold. It's serious. Each year, approximately 226,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized with complications f
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SOURCE American Lung Association of Michigan
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