Policies to reduce influenza in the workplace: impact assessments using an agent-based model.

TitlePolicies to reduce influenza in the workplace: impact assessments using an agent-based model.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKumar S, Grefenstette JJ, Galloway D, Albert SM, Burke DS
JournalAm J Public Health
Date Published2013 Aug
KeywordsHumans, Influenza, Human, Models, Organizational, Occupational Health, Organizational Policy, Pennsylvania, Sick Leave, Workplace

OBJECTIVES: We examined the impact of access to paid sick days (PSDs) and stay-at-home behavior on the influenza attack rate in workplaces.METHODS: We used an agent-based model of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with PSD data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, standard influenza epidemic parameters, and the probability of staying home when ill. We compared the influenza attack rate among employees resulting from workplace transmission, focusing on the effects of presenteeism (going to work when ill).RESULTS: In a simulated influenza epidemic (R0 = 1.4), the attack rate among employees owing to workplace transmission was 11.54%. A large proportion (72.00%) of this attack rate resulted from exposure to employees engaging in presenteeism. Universal PSDs reduced workplace infections by 5.86%. Providing 1 or 2 "flu days"-allowing employees with influenza to stay home-reduced workplace infections by 25.33% and 39.22%, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: PSDs reduce influenza transmission owing to presenteeism and, hence, the burden of influenza illness in workplaces.

Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
PubMed ID23763426
PubMed Central IDPMC3893051
Grant ListU54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
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