We Wish We Were WRONG


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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel

expert perspective telescopeAn August 28, 2009 article by Reuters journalist Maggie Fox (WHO Warns of Severe Form of Swine Flu) shares that “Doctors are reporting a severe form of swine flu that goes straight to the lungs, causing severe illness in otherwise healthy young people…”.

Grahall could be gloating.  We predicted way ahead of the “experts” that H1N1 was trending badly (see H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update #4 ) and that it was affecting young adults more than children and the elderly, and that its virulence was its attack on the lungs (see Swine Flu Update #6 .)

However we are not gloating; in fact, we would have preferred to be wrong.

Now, let’s take a look at the cost impact on employers.  As for the cost impact on employers, my actuarial first blush is a 1.5% increase in your medical costs.  I will fine tune this number as data begins to emerge.  As for the impact of lost time and lost productivity, my initial estimate is 1% (roughly 2 days)
assuming that the very sick will miss up to 2 weeks of work, which is the period
of contagion, and those hospitalized will miss more.  Remember H1N1 attacks the
prime ages of your workforce.  I’ll fine tune this number as well as more data
comes available. 

I fear that if my numbers are off, they are low.

Contact Grahall’s Robert Cirkiel at robert.cirkiel@grahall.com

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