Sick days double the traditional winter charge in July, ABS information reveals | Well being

If it felt like everybody at your work was off sick in July, you weren’t imagining issues.

New information launched as we speak by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirmed almost twice as many individuals took sick days final month than they’d in an everyday July as Omicron swept throughout the nation and circumstances of influenza have been at their highest in years.

In keeping with the info, about 750,000 individuals throughout Australia labored fewer hours than common because of sickness or harm in July this 12 months – almost double the variety of individuals usually off work sick through the center of winter.

In July 2021 about 439,000 individuals labored fewer hours because of sickness, and in July 2020, that determine was about 407,000.

The quantity of people that couldn’t work in any respect in July because of sickness has additionally risen dramatically, with about 296,000 individuals working zero hours final month.

This was an enormous leap in contrast with earlier years with about 153,000 working zero hours because of sickness in 2021 and about 134,000 individuals in 2020.

The chair of biostatistics on the College of South Australia, Prof Adrian Esterman, mentioned the rise in individuals taking sick go away could possibly be attributed to quite a lot of elements, together with excessive charges of Covid and influenza.

Circumstances of influenza had been down throughout Australia for the reason that pandemic started and immunologists had warned that Australia can be getting into this winter with a decrease pure flu immunity because of the lockdowns and social distancing measures of the previous two years.

“We reached the height [of the Omicron wave] at about 20 July, and since then [Covid] numbers have been happening,” Esterman mentioned.

“In the previous few days the lower is beginning to gradual [as we approach the] trough between peaks.”

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Hospitalisation numbers have been at their highest this 12 months in July, with greater than 5,000 Covid sufferers admitted to hospital through the peak. This quantity has been on a gentle decline all through August.

Simply because Covid case numbers have been lowering didn’t imply the pandemic was over, Esterman mentioned, with Australia nonetheless recording about 15,000 to twenty,000 new infections every day.

“We’ve nonetheless bought very excessive numbers, even when we’re approaching the trough, so there’s nonetheless fixed strain on hospital system,” he mentioned.

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