Capital Chemist - Why you should stay home if you have the flu
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Why you should stay home if you have the flu

One of the dilemmas of falling ill is deciding whether or not to stay home and recover, or ‘soldier on’ and work regardless. The temptation to go to work is understandable - you may wish to preserve your sick leave, have a large workload, or important deadlines to attend to. However, it’s important to understand that the ramifications for going into the office when you’re sick can be dangerous not only for you but for those around you.

Here are three reasons to stay home when have, or suspect you may have the flu:

Your body needs to recover

There’s no doubt that your work is important, but your health should always be a priority. Your body needs rest to recover and fight the infection, so it’s highly important that you don’t push yourself. Fatigue is a common symptom of both cold and flu, and you will more than likely feel like lying down on the lounge or in bed. Staying at home means that you’re able to sleep, rest those tired and sore muscles and have access to lots of warm drinks to stay hydrated. By prioritising your health, you can speed up the recovery time so you can make a faster return to work, caring for your family, or whatever takes priority in your life.

Your work may suffer

Your first thought may be that you have work that needs to be done, but if you’re not feeling well, you are more likely to make mistakes or errors in judgement or simply produce work that isn’t to a high standard. You may also find that you’re unable to focus on the tasks at hand, or that you struggle to be productive. This is called ‘presenteeism’ and has a huge cost to employers - a 2016 report estimated that presenteeism cost the Australian economy in excess of $34 billion annually.

Taking time to rest and return to good health means that you can return to your usual, productive self sooner.

You may be contagious

If recovering from your illness isn’t enough incentive for you to stay home and rest, spare a thought for your colleagues. Both the cold and flu can be contagious, particularly when you are coughing, sneezing, and spreading the virus around - even when you don’t mean to. Remember that there may be people in your workplace who are particularly vulnerable to the cold and flu and their associated health risks. This is also true for people who share a household with those who are vulnerable, such as older people or babies. Do yourself and your colleagues a favour and stay home.

Need a leave certificate?

Of course, you may wish to see your GP to discuss your health - but remember that most colds are simple viruses so if it’s a workplace leave certificate that you’re after, why not make Capital Chemist your first port of call? Not only can you pick up products to relieve cold and flu symptoms but our pharmacists are able to write workplace leave certificates for sick leave or carer’s leave.

Conditionals apply. Pharmacists can only issue certificates for short term and self-limiting conditions that typically fall into the pharmacist’s normal scope of practice, such as common colds, stomach upset, migraine, and back pain. Two days is the maximum length certificate we can issue, and certificates cannot be backdated.


You may also be interested in the following:

Common sense for the common cold. Tips to stay healthy during winter
5 healthy recipes for the whole family
6 tips to beat the winter blues

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