Do You Go to Work When You’re Sick? Most NJ Residents Do
New Jersey health officials say influenza activity remains high.
And while a lot of Garden state residents are sick, many are still going into work, ignoring instructions from their companies and physicians to stay home.
A study by the human resource consulting firm Robert Half finds that 82 percent of HR mangers have encouraged workers to not go to the office if they’re under the weather. But 85 percent of workers show up anyway.
According to Dr. Ted Louie, an infectious disease expert with the Medical Society of New Jersey, going to work when you’re ill is not a good idea, especially during peak flu season.
“Flu is highly contagious and there’s a large number of other viruses that are similar to flu, so you’re doing everybody a disservice if you go to work and spread these viruses.”
The flu can be especially dangerous to pregnant women or people with lung problems.
He said even if you stay away from co-workers, you’ll probably get them sick just by coughing or touching elevator buttons and door handles.
“Flu is fairly contagious and it can travel some distance. If you’re actively coughing, people in adjoining cubicles could get sick," he said.
Louie noted that a fever or a significant cough indicate the flu, not just a cold.
He also said while the symptoms of a cold are not as severe as influenza, you are still contagious but your co-workers probably won’t get as sick as if they were exposed to the flu.
He said if you get the flu but you absolutely have to go in to work, you might consider wearing a mask. Just change it once or twice a day.
The best medicine is rest and fluids, he said.