The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Local Business

February 3, 2014

Bracing for the common cold

Employees who work while sick cost national economy billions

ANDERSON — Losing an employee for the day cuts Dick Zarse’s workforce by a fourth, but he does not want them to come to work if they are sick.

“We just don’t want it to spread,” said Zarse, owner of Broadway Press, 2112 Broadway. “If someone does come in and they are obviously ill, I will send them home.”

According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “presenteeism” — the term for employees who work when they are sick — costs the national economy $160 billion in lost productivity.

Employees who report to work with the common cold or flu are not only less productive, they are also jeopardizing other workers and the health of customers by spreading an infection.

In January, local hospitals began limiting visitations to reduce the spread of influenza and it may have worked as the reported number of new cases are down, but officials warn this could only be a temporary reprieve.

An increase in this year's extreme weather conditions may have created a “weather-induced quarantine” naturally slowing down the spread of the flu.

“My biggest concern is that the drop in numbers might make some think that the flu wave is over. The flu concern is not over,” said Stacy Austin, a registered nurse and an infection control preventionist at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital.

“The National CDC map is already starting to show another upward trend in flu activity for Indiana,” she said.

Austin urged people to stay home if they are sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that sick food handlers are responsible for 53 percent of norovirus outbreaks. Norovirus is a stomach virus and one sick food handler could infect dozens or hundreds of people.

“Don’t go to work and spread the flu virus,” she said. “It is spread not only to co-workers, but also to the family and daily contacts of your co-workers.”

Text Only
Local Business
  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Plan your strategy for financing higher education Planning is essential regardless of the situation, but no plan is perfect. There will be flat tires and snow days, but there will also be dances and great memories. Let’s plan for what we can even if we know it won’t be perfect.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • boynton, brandon photo Teen receives funding for business venture Brandon Boynton is moving forward with his business dreams, thanks in part to a local working capital loan and a fundraising campaign.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior housing project advances If all the pieces fall into place within the next two weeks, construction on a new senior housing development could begin this fall.

    July 30, 2014

  • Roundabout bids higher than expected Bids for a planned facelift of the gateway into Anderson from Interstate 69 at Scatterfield Road came in considerably higher than the engineer’s estimate for the project.

    July 29, 2014

  • FEA - HB0729 - Senior Falls Aging safely in the comfort of her home Marilyn Moneyhun said being totally reliant on others is difficult. "Losing your independence is a shock to your system," Moneyhun, 84, said. "You are not in control anymore."

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0728 - business expansion CB Fabricating makes $2 million investment

    A local business founded in 2006 has invested $2 million in new equipment and a building expansion.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • nws - hb0725 - colts - jc - 4.jpg Colts camp's impact: pricey or priceless?

    Football fever is here and the city is flooded with fans eager to catch a glimpse of a favorite player. But officials say they are unclear what kind of economic impact the Indianapolis Colts training camp has on the area.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Skill gap 2 Seeking a solution today, not tomorrow Tina Warner-Morton says she wants to open her own healthcare business because it is too difficult to work for an employer with unclear employee expectations.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Cathy Cupboard Biz Profile Business Profile: Cathy's Cupboard focuses on customer satisfaction Cathy McPhearson opened her first storefront in June, but this is not her first venture into business. “I have always wanted to have my own business,” she said. “The problem was finding what people like, but everyone seems to like candles.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide