The under 35 set are the most likely to go outside when they’ve got the flu — and that can be costly to people who aren’t yet sick
This behavior is sick.
More than three in four people (76%) under 35 admit to venturing out of the house the last time they had flu or flu-like symptoms, according to a new survey of 1,800 people who have recently had the flu by healthcare clinic CityMD. That makes them the group most likely to go outside and potentially infect others. (And in a survey released last year, more than half admitted they weren’t going to get a flu shot — the highest of any age group.)
The second most likely group to leave the house with the flu is parents of kids under 18– 75% of whom admit to doing this (that’s compared to 61% of Americans overall). This kind of behavior is “creating environments that can infect others and spread what is a very underestimated disease,” said Dr. David Shih, executive vice president of strategy, health and innovation at CityMD — who adds that flu germs can last up to 24 hours on a surface that a sick person touches.
So where do flu-ridden people go when they leave the house? Nearly seven in 10 are predictably heading to the drugstore or pharmacy, likely to pick up some medicine to make them feel better. But plenty of others go to unexpected spots like a party or the gym.
10 places flu-ridden people go out to
|Friend or family member’s home||20%|
If you run into sick people at one of these spots, beware: More than half of Americans say they don’t use hand sanitizer after the cough or sneeze, 57% don’t use disinfectant wipes on the surfaces they touch and 26% don’t wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.
Not only will you feel awful if you get the flu, it’s likely to cost you. The University of Utah estimates that “illness from the flu costs the average person about $130 between visiting the doctor and purchasing medicine.” If you don’t have paid sick days — and roughly one in three workers in the private sector don’t — it can cost even more in lost wages.
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