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 Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>