When can you go back to work or school if you have the flu?


While battling the flu, your body needs couch time to rest and recover. After a few days, maybe you are getting very bored with day time TV and eager to get back into your routine.

But colds and the flu are very contagious and it’s important not to rush going back to school and work.

This year is a particularly harsh flu season

Here’s some guidelines on how long you should stay home:

How long to stay to home

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (except to get medical care or other necessities). Your fever should be gone for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

Check with your child's daycare or school before sending your child back. Many have rules and it’s generally at least a full day after they don't have any fever without medication. 

How long is a person with the flu contagious? 

In general, about a week. People with the flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. However, children and people with weakened immune systems can infect others for longer periods of time, especially if they still have symptoms.  

What should you do while while sick:  

If you do get sick and think you may have the flu, contact your health care provider right away, particularly if you or family members are at high risk for serious flu complications — young children (under the age of 5), those over 65, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or asthma. Even young, healthy adults should call their doctor if symptoms don’t improve or get worse after three to four days of illness. There are antivirals such as Tamiflu or Relenza that can help treat the flu, but the medication needs to be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms to be most effective.

Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a face mask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.

In many cases, the flu can be treated at home unless symptoms are severe. Because the flu is a virus, it needs to run its course, which means lots of TLC and rest.

What you need to know about this year’s flu season:

The flu season is getting worse in Georgia and most the country. During the fourth week of the year which runs Jan. 21 through Jan. 27., there were 120 hospitalizations in metro Atlanta due to influenza, up from 115 hospitalizations during the previous week.

There has also been a total of 51 confirmed influenza-related deaths in Georgia this flu season, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. That is up from a total of 25 last week. The 51 people who died includes the following: one child; 7 people between the ages of 18 and 51; 7 people between the ages of 51 and 64 and 36 people over the age of 65.

MORE: How to protect your family from the flu at school, work

There are steps you and your family can to take to avoid getting and spreading the flu. Common sense flu prevention techniques really make a difference. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water. (If water is not available, alcohol-based gels are the next best thing.) If you are sick, cover your coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or a tissue that is then discarded.

If you have not gotten the flu shot, it’s not too late. While getting a vaccine earlier in the season is better, there is still a lot of the season to go and vaccination now could still provide some benefit. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection

MORE: Have the flu? Atlanta archbishop advises ill Catholics to skip Mass

MORE: 8 things you need to know about this year’s really bad flu season   

READ: The agony of ER waits: Flu season is making them worse 

READ: Father of Coweta teen who died of flu asks, “Why?”

Click this link to check out the wait times: https://hospitals.myajc.com/ 

 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Jennifer Lopez celebrates twins Max and Emme’s 10th birthday
Jennifer Lopez celebrates twins Max and Emme’s 10th birthday

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s twins are growing up so fast! Max and Emme celebrated their 10th birthday on Feb. 22, and Lopez was right there to celebrate with her kids, sharing multiple posts on Instagram.  >> Read more trending news  Sharing a video of her kids’ -- whom she affectionately calls her coconuts -- cutest...
Big catch: The best places in Georgia for Atlanta fishermen
Big catch: The best places in Georgia for Atlanta fishermen

Some of the best fishing environments in the country are right here in Georgia's lakes and rivers.  For the casual fisherman (or fisherwoman) and their families, Lake Patrick has already won the title as Georgia's best place for family-friendly fishing.Plus, serious fisherman get to work far south of Atlanta on commercial fishing operations...
Know before you go: metro Atlanta farmers markets guide
Know before you go: metro Atlanta farmers markets guide

Once trendy and scattered, farmers markets have become a common staple in neighborhoods across metro Atlanta. More than 35 farmers markets dot metro area maps, each offering handcrafted bites, locally grown produce and some seriously delicious grub. New to the market? Don't breeze through. Take time to explore the great food, friendly faces and...
Coca-Cola taps into nostalgia with new fruit-flavored sodas
Coca-Cola taps into nostalgia with new fruit-flavored sodas
Coca-Cola is going back to its roots with two new artisanal sodas. Coca-Cola Georgia Peach and Coca-Cola California Raspberry hit grocery stores, restaurants and bars across the country this week.  Although the Atlanta-based brand has been moving away from full sugar beverages with recent rebranding efforts such as Coke Zero Sugar,...
5 simple things you can do for the environment and your health
5 simple things you can do for the environment and your health

With climate change predictions coming from scientists on a regular basis, many people are increasingly concerned about their personal impact on the environment. At the same time, who isn't concerned about their health and well-being? While it's a no-brainer that severe pollution and ominous natural disasters can be detrimental to humanity, there...
More Stories