The Impact of a Severe Flu Season: Americans Missed 230 Million Work Days and Lost $8.5 Billion in Wages in 2012-13, Walgreens Flu Impact Report Suggests

Survey finds 11 million vacations impacted and 91 million school days missed during last flu season, triple the number during typical season

The Impact of a Severe Flu Season: Americans Missed 230 Million Work Days and Lost $8.5 Billion in Wages in 2012-13, Walgreens Flu Impact Report Suggests

<0> WalgreensJim Cohn(847) 315-2950 </0>

The 2012-13 flu season was one of the most severe in the U.S. in more than a decade and according to a new study, had two to three times the impact over a more typical flu season on the workplace, school, family and other segments of people’s everyday lives. A new report from Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) suggests last season, while due to flu-related illness. By contrast, 100 million work days and 32 million school days were missed in 2010-11, according to the

Released today, the report examines the broad implications of the flu on people’s everyday lives and the U.S. economy. The latest findings illustrate the wide-ranging impact of last flu season, as well as stark comparisons to the 2011 Flu Impact Report, which was conducted following a more typical season, and also the most recent commissioned by Walgreens.

Flu activity last season peaked in December, coinciding with the winter holidays and resulting in as a result of the flu, a 300 percent increase over 2011, based on survey results.

“The flu season is always unpredictable, and the impact it can have on individuals and families at home and in the workplace can be significant,” said Harry Leider, M.D., Walgreens chief medical officer. “Last year, with flu peaking early, a lot of people weren’t prepared and as a result lost vacations and missed out on holidays. This underscores the importance of getting a flu shot early, and our report shows more people are planning to do so, along with taking other preventive measures this year.”

Nationally, the report suggests the flu-related impact found in 2010-11, while employees who missed time at work due to flu-related illness . In addition:

With the peak of last season’s flu activity coinciding with the winter holidays and busy travel season in December, millions of vacations and other holiday festivities were likely spent in bed, instead. More than two out of five (42 percent) respondents that had the flu last year missed some sort of activity as a result. These include:

The term “germ-o-phobic” has become more main stream in recent years, with the use of sanitizers on the rise and greater awareness around how germs and viruses can spread. Nearly , including washing hands more frequently (87 percent), getting a flu shot earlier (51 percent), getting flu shots for family members (49 percent), limiting time in public places (43 percent) and trying working from home more often (11 percent).

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people get a flu shot as soon as vaccine becomes available, typically in August:

The Flu Impact Survey was conducted online within the United States by USamp on behalf of Walgreens from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, 2013, among 1,200 nationally representative adults ages 18 and older. Flu Impact Report results were balanced on key demographics to allow projection of results to the entire U.S. adult population. Results are based on self-reported instances of the flu and flu-like symptoms. Projections incorporate the latest data available for average compensation and hours worked from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, population data and projections from the United States Census and compared against beta Flu Work Loss models developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The margin of error for the national sample is +/-2.9 percent reported at a 95 percent confidence level.

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens () vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,123 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 750 locations throughout the country.