The Influenza Virus

A public health concern in the Chicago area is the spread of the influenza virus. Influenza is a serious health concern because it has the ability to affect anybody in any age group. The virus spreads easily between people in a community. During the winter season influenza is a specific health concern because it can cause serious illness and may even cause death. According to, “Every year, human influenza rapidly spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in an estimated three to five million cases of severe illness and between 250 000 and 500 000 deaths”. This information causes megacities, which includes Chicago, to be prepared to fight this virus. The influenza virus is best prevented by vaccinations. Many pharmacies throughout Chicago offer free or discounted influenza vaccinations to their customers. Walgreens has a promotion that for every vaccination given they will give a free vaccination to a child in need. This is a great opportunity for anyone, because they  blog#2

need the vaccination anyway. The World Health Organization claims that, “An influenza epidemic can take an economic toll through lost workforce productivity and strain health services”.  I believe that this is one of the main causes the influenza virus can make a city temporarily unsustainable economically. If there is a large amount of lost workforce productivity than the business will lose revenue. In my own personal experience, when I worked at Potbelly, there were many times that I was sick but could not find anyone to cover my shift so I was told by managers that I still needed to come into work. The business could not afford to lose just one employee during their lunch hour because it had the potential to slow down the line and cause them to lose money. In the reading, Economic, social, and environmental sustainability in development theory and urban planning practice, the authors claim that, “Economic sustainability, by way of growth, development, and productivity, has guided conventional development science in the past”. The virus’ ability to cause economic sustainability to go down makes it a priority in health concern in Chicago.


One thought on “The Influenza Virus

  1. What I find very interesting about flu vaccinations is that many people take them for granted. Not many people actually do get flu vaccinations each year even though they are proven to help prevent someone from getting the flu. We seem to just cross our finger and hope to not get the flu, even though getting the flu ravages your body and causes us to put our life on hold.

    It would be interesting to see if there is a study on what the impacts of the flu is n the economy and people’s productivity. If the study produced informative results regarding the flu being economically damaging, I’m sure the number of vaccinations would go up significantly.


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