Sick Days: When to stay home

By: Health Local Staff Dec 05, 2011
  Article
sick days

Stay home or go to work? That is the question!

Let’s speak honestly! Everyone knows that sick days are worth more than gold. People spend their work year trying to save them up; so they can bundle them with those vacation days they’ve been stashing away! It’s great to have all of those days in the bank, but how do you know when it’s time to really use them. There are times when saving a sick day, isn’t an option.

Contagious
One of the most important times to take a sick day is when you know that what you have is contagious. Contagions are communicable through direct or indirect contact. This means that just being in your presence can cause others to catch whatever it is you have; you don’t have to touch them.

When you first come in contact with a virus, there is an incubation period in which you’ll show no symptoms. Yet, the virus is quickly spreading and growing inside of you. Mucous and salivary glands will begin to produce fluids full of this little monster that has invaded your body. The smallest sneeze or cough will send him into the air, making him available for everyone else to breathe in.

Symptoms of Contagions
Not everyone knows how to tell if they may have something that is contagious or not. A lot of people feel that it’s a waste of time to go to the doctor for some illnesses, because the doctor is only going to give them something that they can buy over the counter; unless there’s a need for antibiotics. One of the easiest ways to tell if you may have a contagious illness is to look at the group of symptoms that you’re exhibiting.  The term “group” is used because some symptoms are common in multiple illnesses, like just a cough or just a runny nose.

Fever is a common symptom of contagious diseases. It’s a sign that the body is fighting off something foreign. Paired with even a low grade fever, a combination of any of the following symptoms may mean you should stay home: a productive cough, aches and/or pains, stuffed sinuses, extreme tiredness, chills and/or shivers, headache and reddening of the eyes. These symptoms, when grouped, can be signs that you are carrying an illness that you can pass on to others.

How many times have you gone to work and heard a co-worker complain about the flu but they came to work anyway? You wake up in a few days with all of their symptoms. If the group of symptoms that you exhibit scream “CONTAGIOUS!!!” do yourself and everyone you work with a favor; stay home! It makes no sense to go to work and pass your nasty little germs on to your co-workers. As an incentive, think about; if you make someone sick, you may end up with their workload.

So, if you feel like your head is about to explode, your body feels like it’s twice its usual weight and you have a golf ball up each nostril; you probably have something that you can share but no one else wants. This is when using those sick days is imperative. Not only do you give yourself a chance to get over your bug, you prevent passing it on to someone else. Be a great co-worker and keep your germs to yourself!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.