Weekend Doctor

By JILL BADIK, DO
If you’re not feeling well or think you might be coming down with a bug, it can be tough to decide whether to go to work, school or spend the day in bed instead.
When deciding whether to say home or not, some symptoms that send you to bed may be a bit more obvious “” such as fever, sore throat, coughing and congestion, earache and pink eye. Other symptoms that are less severe may not require you to take the day off.
However, if you are mildly ill, you should consider how you could affect others. You might be contagious, and children and the elderly are especially susceptible to germs.
Even if you are not infectious, you can still be a threat to others. For example, many medications prescribed to fight a virus have side effects such as drowsiness, which make it dangerous to drive or operate heavy machinery.
You also need to consider whether you’ll be productive. If you can’t stop coughing, will you be able to talk on the phone to customers or concentrate in class? If not, stay home.
If you do decide to tough it out, you may be robbing your body of some much needed rest, and subsequently, you could end up sicker for a longer period of time.
Not every sneeze or sniffle should cause you to stay home. If you don’t have a fever, rash or other more severe symptoms, it’s likely that you could be suffering from a mild cold or allergies, and you can probably keep your commitments. Just wash your hands often to reduce others’ risk of infection.
Dr. Badik is a family medicine physician affiliated with ProMedica Physicians and ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital.

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