Sick leave reduces flu infections: report

Share this article:

Giving employees paid sick days would reduce flu infections in the workplace, according to a new analysis.

Researchers simulated an influenza epidemic in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and discovered that paid sick days would reduce flu cases by close to 6%, according to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. 

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with the flu stay home for 24 hours after their fever breaks, many smaller workplaces don't give paid sick leave, said lead author Supriya Kumar, Ph.D.,

Her team also found an alternative called “flu days” — in which employees had access to one or two paid days to recover from the flu — also significantly reduced workplace transmission. One flu day resulted in a 25% decrease in flu infections and a two flu-day policy resulted in a nearly 40% decrease. This benefit was most effective for work sites with more than 500 employees.

The study was funded in part by a National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant. Results will appear in August's American Journal of Public Health


Share this article:

More in News

Involving nursing assistants with decisions may result in higher quality, study finds

Empowering nursing assistants and family members of nursing home residents in decision-making results improved service, a new study finds.

Also in the news for July 28, 2014 . . .

Nursing home aide accused of choking a resident....Monitoring pulse after stroke may prevent another stroke...Slow walking speed may predict dementia

Site-neutral payments likely to move forward, experts believe

Site-neutral payments likely to move forward, experts believe

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission evaluate site-neutral payments, a new brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores ...