Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Swine Flu Impacts Could Further Damage U.S. Economy

28.09.2009
H1N1 influenza could slow growth in key industries and stall already-weak GDP growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2009, says a health economist in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Business.

"Tourism and travel are vitally important sectors in the economy of many U.S. cities and communities," Bryce Sutton, Ph.D. "Depending upon the severity of the spread of the virus, consumers and businesses may respond by restricting travel and vacation plans, which would dampen an already weak recovery in these areas."

AAA estimates that as many as 60 million Americans annually travel 50 miles or more from home during the country's peak travel periods, which fall on the days that surround the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Sutton says airlines, hotels and other service industries negatively impacted by recent trends of tightened consumer spending could face double jeopardy should H1N1 infections or simply fears of exposure keep would-be travelers at home.

Other business sectors could suffer, too, if sick workers and absences cut deeply into productivity and revenues, Sutton says.

"Although business managers have had time to prepare contingency plans, those that already have cut the numbers of employees in an effort to reduce costs during the downturn may be hardest hit," Sutton says. "In many cases, companies that already are working with the bare minimum staffs face further productivity challenges should large numbers of the remaining employees contract H1N1."

Sutton says more research is needed to measure the more precise impact of the H1N1 virus once the traditional U.S. flu season has passed. Until then, statements on the economic influence of the virus will reflect educated predictions based on the history of previous pandemics and their reported economic effects.

"The most recent case we have to study is the Asian SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, which negatively impacted a range of industries in Asia. The effects led to a regional loss of between 0.5 and 2 percent of GDP," Sutton says. "H1N1 impact predictions are based on examples like this one in which virus fears traditionally have had a negative influence on the economies of impacted regions.

"However, the H1N1 preparation has been much better when compared to the response of health agencies during the SARS outbreak and that could counter some potential negative impacts," he says.

About UAB

UAB is the state of Alabama's largest employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic health center whose professional schools and specialty patient care programs are consistently ranked as among the nation's top 50. The UAB Health System includes all patient-care activities, including UAB Hospital, the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital and The Kirklin Clinic.

Media Contact

Media Contact:
Andrew Hayenga
(205) 934-1676
ahayenga@uab.edu

Andrew Hayenga | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uab.edu
http://www.uabmedicine.org

Further reports about: Economy Flu Outbreak GDP H1N1 H1N1 infections SARS Swine UAB damage economic influence pandemics travel periods

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

nachricht Demographic change depresses tax revenues
04.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>