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Flu Outbreak: Why Paid Sick Days Matter

By Shamus Khan

(This article was originally published on Time.com. The original version can be read here: Read here: http://ideas.time.com/2013/01/22/flu-outbreak-why-paid-sick-days-matter/#ixzz2JBd5yMZo)

We are in the midst of one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. By the end of it, about 60 million Americans are likely to contact influenza, over 200,000 will probably to be hospitalized and tens of thousands will have died. While we typically look to doctors and medicines in a health crisis, we should recognize that guaranteeing paid sick days to workers could do as much, if not more, to help moderate the impact of influenza and other contagious diseases.

Every other industrialized nation in the world guarantees this right, but very few places in the U.S. do; they include a handful of cities like San Francisco, Milwaukee, Washington and Seattle — and one lone state: Connecticut. What that means is if you live anywhere else in the nation, you can be fired for missing work because of an illness or for caring for a sick family member.

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