Objective: Few studies have examined how acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) influence workplace productivity. We examined the association between laboratory-confirmed influenza and combined absenteeism/presenteeism.
Methods: Linear regression was used to model the association between influenza (by seasonal vaccine status) and productivity loss over 7 to 17 days following symptom onset in 1278 employed adults in an influenza vaccine effectiveness study during the 2012 to 2013 through 2015 to 2016 seasons.
Results: Influenza was significantly associated with workplace productivity loss (P < 0.001), but there were no significant differences between virus type/subtypes or seasonal vaccine status. Regardless of vaccination, participants with H1N1pdm09, H3N2, or B infection had the greatest mean productivity loss (range, 67% to 74%), while those with non-influenza ARI had the lowest productivity loss (58% to 59%).
Conclusions: Compared with non-influenza ARI, those with influenza lose an additional half day of work due to absenteeism/presenteeism over the week following symptom onset.
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