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February 22

Onsite Health will commence workplace flu vaccinations on Monday, 3 April 2017

More than 840,000 Kiwis caught the flu last year, but 3/4 of them would never have known they had contracted the highly contagious virus.

Data from the Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study, which analysed 2,500 adults and children randomly selected from general practices in Auckland show that 1 in 5 people in New Zealand – and 1 in 3 Kiwis under 19 – were infected with influenza in 2016.

However, the SHIVERS study indicates that not everyone with the flu displays flu symptoms, or, even feels unwell enough to visit their GP. These infected individuals can still pass the flu on to others that they are in contact with through touch – or in the air – to those individuals likely to get sicker than themselves such as; infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and, people with pre-existing medical conditions.

In the USA, flu’s impact is calculated at between 0.24% to 0.80% of GDP. It wasn’t clear in the SHIVERS study what cost flu was having on NZ’s employers, who could lose infected workers for 5 to 10 days. Some estimates in NZ suggest that sickness costs NZ businesses around 3% of their total salary and wage bill.

Those individuals not protected from the flu by vaccination, but who still considered themselves fit and healthy, were just as likely to be infected with the flu.

For further detail, please click on the link to The NZ Herald article (dated 21 September 2016).