Can Catching The Flu be Your Most Expensive Travel Spend This Year?
Flu Season and Business Travel
The sneezing and coughing you hear from the aisle next to you is a sign that flu season is upon us once more. This means it’s time to get your flu shot again. While nobody Aims to get sick, travelling during the peak of flu season has some serious consequences outside of a fever and running nose. Hearing what these are should make you think twice about skipping your flu vaccine this year.
How Expensive is Catching The Flu?
First, about $87.1 billion is deducted annually from the U.S. economy due to influenza, with businesses feeling about $16.3 billion of that. While you may not be wracked with personal guilt about calling in sick or missing out on a business meeting, that $16 billion-particularly in a weak economy-can mean the difference between having a job today and applying for unemployment benefits next year. Last year, Americans called in more than 70 million sick days due to the flu.
However, the repercussions of getting the virus while travelling should give you cause to pause and think about being vaccinated. First, the average cost of a flu shot is $35 per person, which is often covered by health insurance, and is easily available from drug stores like Rite Aid, local health departments and physicians. Overall, this cost is a trifle when compared to what contracting the flu could cost you.
Out of Pocket Costs
Add to all this the loss of valuable productive time and income and you can see a no win situation developing. This gets even worse if you a need to be hospitalized, which is a real possibility. Perhaps, the most frightening statistic from the flu is the cost of life. The numbers vary-due to data discrepancies in the field- but the CDC estimates between 4,000 and 40,000flu-associated deaths each year.