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Flu season could lead to sluggish economic growth

January 11, 2013

NEW YORK — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already labeled the 2013 flu season as one of the worst in the last 10 years — and it hasn't even peaked yet, according to The Wall Street Journal.

flu shotsThe virus has been reported in at least 44 states — with 29 reporting high or "severe" levels, the article stated.

According to the article, a major flu outbreak could be an additional drag on first-quarter growth; lost work time, canceled meetings and slower productivity growth can combine to sends chills through an economy already hobbled by higher taxes.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas cites CDC estimates that the flu, on average, costs employers $10.4 billion in direct costs of hospitalization and outpatient visits, the article noted.

That estimate doesn't even take into account business costs such as sick pay, work delays and reduced efficiency, the article added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.