As many people unfortunately know firsthand, it’s flu season. Sick workers mean time off work, which leads to lost productivity businesses must absorb.
As of Feb. 3, that amount of lost productivity in Kent County is $1,019,474.
This year’s aggressive strain of flu — influenza A, H3N2, according to Brenda Fitzgerald, who recently resigned as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — is producing similar activity as when an estimated nearly 40 million people were sick in the 2014-15 season, according to the CDC.
There have been more than 2,500 reported cases of the flu in Kent County so far this season, as of Jan. 27, according to the county’s weekly influenza surveillance trends.
Brian Hartl, epidemiology supervisor for the Kent County Health Department, said the county does not extrapolate numbers, but there likely were many flu cases not reported. One thing is for sure, “We’re definitely higher than we were last year,” he said.