How Do You Know When It’s Safe to Go Back to Work After the Flu?

Doctors often recommend staying home when you have the flu. Going to work when you are symptomatic puts others at risk for contracting the virus and getting sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.”

Knowing when to return to work and applying preventative measures to avoid the spread of the virus can reduce the risk of getting others ill. Most health care practitioners agree that you should stay home for a long as you have severe symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and cough with mucus or vomiting. Some doctors may advise that you do not return to work for five days after the onset of symptoms and 24 hours after your fever has cleared. Advice may vary by provider.

It is important to keep in mind that even when you begin to feel better, you may still be contagious for several days. The CDC advises, “Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.” During this time, take the following actions to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Sanitize your hands
  • Cover your  nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Limit your contact with others
  • Do not share utensils or sanitize before sharing
  • Frequently disinfect areas that may be contaminated

This year, we are experiencing a rather severe flu season. Anyone who suspects they have the virus should seek treatment from their doctor as soon as possible and take the necessary steps needed to avoid infecting others.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.