Hamburg - The unusually strong flu wave last winter also significantly increased the sickness rate. In the first half of 2018, more than every fifth day absent from work was caused by influenza and colds, as the health insurance company announced today in Hamburg.
21 percent of all days absent were due to respiratory diseases. That was an increase of 14 percent compared to the same period last year. The duration of absenteeism was also particularly high this year with an average of 7.2 days.
The sick leave overall remained stable at 4.3 percent. The reason is, among other things, slight decrease in back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders as well as mental illness. Back problems and other musculoskeletal disorders accounted for 19.6 percent of the absence days in the first half of the year.
In third place came mental illnesses with 15.3 percent. In the case of psychological diagnoses, those affected fell out for particularly long time - an average of 35 days. For the analysis, the Berlin IGES Institute evaluated the data of 2.3 million employed DAK insured persons.
Last winter, around 334,000 laboratory-confirmed flu cases were registered in Germany, which is an unusually high number. The number of unreported cases is likely to have been higher because not every flu is clarified. In addition, not every patient goes to the doctor. In addition, about 1,665 deaths related to influenza infections have been confirmed.