Flu costs US economy $10.4B annually: 6 things to know

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Although roughly 43.3 percent of U.S. adults got the flu vaccine in 2015-16, an estimated 24.5 million fell ill with the virus, according to CNBC.

Here are six things to know about the financial impact of the flu.

1. The 2015-16 flu season saw 11 million medical visits, 308,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths. However, the CDC estimates the vaccine prevented 5.1 million illnesses, 2.5 million flu-induced medical visits and 71,000 hospitalizations that year.

2. On average, the flu costs the U.S. economy an estimated $10.4 billion each year in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.

3. The average daily cost of a hospital stay is $2,271.

4. Large pharmacies, like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, offer the flu vaccine and accept most insurance plans.

5. Without coverage, Walgreens charges $31.99 for a shot to most adults and children. For people aged 65 and older, that same shot is generally $59.99.

6. Or, consider the cost of over-the-counter treatments and missing work. If the average hourly wage of American workers is $26.55, for those who do not receive pay for sick days, that equates to $212.40 — pre-tax — for each eight-hour work day missed, CNBC reports.

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