The flu virus wreaks more havoc for the National Health Service as 18, 000 of their own staff are struck down with symptoms.
Hospitals already stretched by the high levels of patients suffering with flu were dealt another blow on Tuesday when around one in every 65 employees called in sick claiming to have the virus.
2010 has seen the worst outbreak of the illness in over ten years with cases of seasonal flu and swine flu putting a huge strain on staff and resources at hospitals, GP’s Surgeries and pharmacists.
FirstCare monitors absence rates for both public and private sector employers. It has released figures which show that instances of sickness are 47 per cent higher in the NHS than in any other area of either sector.
A higher rate of sick leave is normal for NHS workers who are exposed to infection from those they treat and are asked to remain at home if ill to prevent further contamination. However, the figures from FirstCare show that compared to last year 2, 000 more people have stayed away from work.
This trend is not unique to National Health Service, it is estimated that across Britain almost two million people have had a sick day. NHS employees are, as a result of their interaction with the public can often give an indication of heath trends to follow. FirstCare’s Aaron Ross believes that Britain should brace itself for a general increase in the working population in coming days.
A lack of advertising, poor uptake of the jab and low vaccine stocks have been blamed for the spike in flu cases this winter.