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What Does Pulling a ‘Sicky’ Really Cost?

46% of Australian workers will take sick leave this cold and flu season, with 1 in 5 requiring 3 or more days off.

That’s according to a market survey, undertaken by a third party for probiotic supplement PERKii, which has revealed viruses could cost Australian businesses around $4.6 billion in lost productivity.

PERKii CEO Matthew Kowal said Australians need to be more proactive to protect themselves from cold and flu viruses.

Scientist and leading probiotics expert from the University of Queensland Dr Lai Tran said avoiding a virus could come down to a gut feeling.

“Scientific research has shown that people who correct the bacterial balance in their gut system boost their immunity and overall health, helping to limit nasty infections such as colds, flus and other viruses,” she said.

According to the research, more than a quarter of South Australians experience gastrointestinal issues, and collectively the state has the highest number of people who take at least a full working week off to recover from sickness.

75% of South Australians will come down with a virus at least once this year, with a majority of people not taking any preventative measures to ward off cold and flu.

Mr Kowal said females are at higher risk of developing a cold or flu this season.

Most people who are generally healthy won’t need to see a doctor for the cold or flu, according to Victoria’s Better Health Channel, with your immune system working hard to fight infection.

They offer the following advice:

“If you think you have the flu, try to rest, maintain a good fluid intake, and manage your symptoms. This will help you recover and prevent dehydration.

See your doctor if you are concerned, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • sudden dizziness
  • confusion
  • severe vomiting
  • fever with a rash.”