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Cold and Flu Etiquette

If you are sick with a cold flu-like illness, it is important to think about not putting others at risk. TRUST me when I say that no matter how much people enjoy being around you, they absolutely do not want your sickly germs. So stop thinking that the world will collapse without you working and running errands and consider the collective. I repeat – Nobody wants your sickly germs.

  1. Stay at home- Keep away from others as much as possible to prevent making others sick. People infected with the flu shed the virus and may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). A fever is defined as 100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C.
  2. Wash your Hands- If infected, you can spread the virus by the things that you touch. Studies show that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours. Keep those hands clean so that you won’t infect others through doorknobs, workstations, grocery carts…you get the idea.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing- Duh! Keep your germs to yourself. Trust me that people do not want your virus droplets. Use a tissue to prevent passing the germs to those around you. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Then I repeat- wash your hands.
  4. Don’t be so nice- It is ok to say no to things or to not greet people with hugs and handshakes. Get better before entering other people’s personal space.

The good news is that it is absolutely possible to stay well during this season. Remember how important prevention is during this time of year. We listed tips and tricks on prevention in the post Stay Well During the “Sick Season”

We hope it is a wonderful time of year for you and your families.

Emily Spring, PA-C

Emily Spring is a Functional Medicine Physician Assistant at MaxWell Clinic. She is passionate about finding the root cause of symptoms and using therapies that maximize the body’s innate ability to heal.