Winter Wearies: Should I Call in Sick?
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Winter Wearies: Should I Call in Sick?

With winter firmly here and spring still months away, sickness is everywhere around you. Colds, bronchitis, the flu, pneumonia…it never seems to end…until hay fever sets in during spring time, ha ha. How can you determine if you need to call in sick, see a doctor, or tough it out?

Colds usually begin with a stuffy nose or a headache; basically they start from the neck up. If you are sneezing fluid of any kind, your co-workers will appreciate it if you call in sick for the first day or leave early if you are already at work when symptoms hit. Nobody wants to catch your cold or hear you blow your nose all day. Cold-Eze or Air-Borne may help if you take them soon enough after being exposed to someone with a cold. DayQuil eases symptoms during the day and NyQuil will let you get some sleep and lessen coughing. Aspiring or Tylenol will help with the headache, if you don’t like liquid remedies. By the second or third day, you should be sneezing less and within seven days it should all be over. Normally, you don’t need to see a doctor.

The flu brings aches and pains all over the body, fever, and a headache. It can be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. This sickness usually lasts 3-4 days before you begin to feel better and takes another week to feel “normal”. Thera-Flu helps many people avoid a costly doctor visit. If you think you need to see a doctor, ask about Relenza or Tamiflu – both can take a couple of days off your suffering.

Bronchitis is a relatively short-term build-up of fluid in the lungs coupled with a fever. It usually starts with a bad cold that produces phlegm during violent coughing attacks. Drinking hot tea with honey will soothe your throat. It is contagious and if you have these symptoms, you should definitely see a doctor. Most doctors will prescribe a steroid such as Prednisone, an antibiotic, and recommend between a few days and a week away from work and stress-related activities. Hot baths will help some people get relief by soothing the lungs and muscles in middle of your back, which will be aching by the second day of sickness.

If bronchitis or the flu does not clear up after one week of medication, you may need to go see the doctor a second time. It’s important to rule out pneumonia, which is chronic fluid build-up; if you don’t, you could end up in the hospital, dehydrated and dangerously ill!

Basically: if you have a  a nasty cold, fever or diarrhea, or are vomiting -- stay home! The best thing you can do besides taking medicine of some kind is to REST.

How can you avoid these winter wearies? Don’t shake hands with people that you see sneezing or coughing, spray a disinfectant on work stations and phones, turn off public washroom faucets with your elbow, open and close public doorways with a paper towel. These tips may not keep you totally well, but they will definitely decrease your chances of catching winter illnesses.

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Winter Wearies: Should I Call in Sick? | Factoidz |

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