"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.
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 ContactMedia Contact:
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences