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When Should You Stay Home From Work?

If you’ve ever woken up in the morning with symptoms of a cold, fever, or general malaise and have wondered whether you’re able to go into work or not—you’re not alone. You might have a busy day of meetings and projects ahead of you, but your body is giving you signs that it has other plans. You may be wondering, should you stay home if you have a fever? The answer is always yes! But below, we cover other important considerations for calling out sick and knowing when it’s important to just let your body recover.

Symptoms of the flu are some of the best indicators that you should stay home. The flu is also different from the common cold in that it usually comes on suddenly and includes more intense symptoms. 1 In adults, common symptoms of the flu, as stated by the Centers for Disease and Control are as follows: 1

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Note: not everyone with the flu will have a fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Cough
  • Fatigue

If you are experiencing any of these cold or flu symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor and stay home until they recommend you return. 

Should You Stay Home if You Have a Fever?

The CDC considers a fever a measured temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or greater.  In fact, all employees should stay home if they are sick until 24 hours after their fever is gone. 2 Taking this precaution is important not only for your own recovery, but also for the health of those around you at your workplace. The CDC also recommends that if you suspect you have the flu, or it has been confirmed but you do not have a fever, you should still stay home from work for four to five days after the onset of your symptoms. This is because you are most contagious during the first three days of the illness. 2 If someone at home is sick and you are not, however, going into work is acceptable as long as you monitor your health during this time. 2 With these factors in mind, monitor your symptoms and make sure to stay home if you're sick.

For more information on cold and flu symptoms, how long a sickness is contagious, and more on how to stay healthy during cold and flu seasons, visit the Theraflu Power Living hub.

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