when to Resume (Go Back to) Work After Flu?
Flu is very Infectious; if one person falls sick and gets better, another one falls sick and improves, and then, the next one becomes sick – the trend goes on and on. Seasonal flu is usually quite virulent. To avoid such a rapid & uncontrolled spread what should the sick person do is the most crucial question. But, don’t worry the solution is very simple.
The First Week is Crucial
The first week is very crucial as the affected person can spread the virus very easily. If you are an adult, then confine yourself to your room with a good provision of proper sunlight and ventilation.
If a child suffers then adults should take care of the child or ensure that the child remains confined to his or her room. In general, whoever is sick should stay away from using utensils, bathroom, towels and kitchen as much as possible.
While in rest the patient should focus on their diet, medication, proper rest and sleep. They should consume more fluids – which should not be too cold or hot.
Resuming Activities and Work
Taking rest is OK and getting oneself confined to home is also alright, but as the infected person gradually starts to feel better and recuperates, then what about getting out of the house and socializing or going back to work or resuming day-to-day activities.
Many people get on immediately after
recovery and mingle with others without knowing that they are still in their convalescent period and carriers of the flu virus which could still infect others and make them sick too. Therefore, the next big question is when can a person who has recovered go out of the house or children who have recovered go to their schools.
Recovery from Flu
Those who are still in dilemma whether they have completely recovered from flu or not, should ask themselves the following few questions to rule out that they are not infectious anymore.
During the past 24 hours have you got a fever and took ibuprofen or acetaminophen or any other medicine to improve your symptoms – if the answer is no, then you are less likely to be
infectious – and this suggests that your body is recovering and improving.
Are you still sneezing or coughing – if yes, then you are still likely to spread flu virus – that primarily spreads through tiny droplets in the air. The best way not to spread the infection to others is to stay home or indoors – and wait for the symptoms to improve. Preferably wear a mask to avoid droplets spreading around.
How do you feel? Is it better or are you still feeling sick? This question is a bit trivial – and if you are not feeling fit, then it is better to stay back home and take one more day’s rest to restore yourself – and then start your work afterwards.
Next, those who have had their flu vaccination done and feel that they have been exposed to the flu virus, then there is not much to do for them, but they can still be infectious. And therefore, to be on a safer side, they should wash their hands frequently and stop hugging, shaking hands and sharing others accessories. They should remain away from children.
After recovery from flu, if you are feeling down and have any other medical issue then seek proper treatment from the same doctor whom you consulted. And, immediately seek medical help if you have any medical issue and you are experiencing the symptoms of flu. After taking proper treatment, take rest, take care of yourself and follow the precautions.
Dr. Md. Mateenuddin
MBBS, DTRD, DNB (Respiratory Medicine)
Senior Consultant Pulmonologist