SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Measles cost British workforce 23,000 days of productivity in 2013

A new study conducted by British researchers showed the measles virus cost the English workforce 23,000 days of productivity last year due to missed work days.

According to the study, which was done by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England, on average, measles illness lasted for approximately two weeks, and 63 percent of people reported calling off work or school due to infection.

Another 37 percent of people reported that a caregiver had also missed work days to help take care of them, with the average number of missed days for a caregiver just over seven.

Published by PLOS ONE, the study is the first of its kind to examine the short-term impact of measles on a person's quality of life, measured using the U.K. standard of Quality-Adjusted Life Years to assess how sick people really felt with the illness.

The researchers found that people who have the measles report feeling more unwell than individuals with the flu or chicken pox. Additionally, measles infection had a significant impact on people's ability to carry out their daily routines, causing high levels of pain and anxiety.

"This is the first study to collect data on how sick people with measles actually feel, which helps us to understand the impact that measles infection has on the population so that we can compare the burden of measles to other diseases," Dominic Thorrington, the lead author of the study, said. "This will help policy makers decide what level of resources should be allocated to prevent or control measles outbreaks."

Outbreaks of the measles have increases in recent years in the U.K. and other parts of Europe, with more than 3,000 cases confirmed in England from 2012 to 2013.