When Can I Go Back To Work Or School
Staying home and resting when youre sick is an important part of both getting better and preventing further spread of illness. You should avoid going back to work or school until youre no longer contagious.
The contagious period for the flu begins about 1 day before symptoms start and can last as long as 5-7 days from when you first felt sick.
Youre generally contagious with a cold 1-2 days before your symptoms start, and you could be contagious as long as your symptoms are presentin rare cases, up to 2 weeks.
The contagious period for the flu can last as long as 5-7 days from when you first felt sick.
An ounce of prevention
Both the flu and a cold are generally spread through the air, by close contact, or contaminated surfaces. So how do you protect your loved ones when youre dutifully staying home sick in a home you share with others?
What Is A Cold Or Flu
The common cold is a type of mild upper respiratory viral infection. Common colds are the most frequent acute illness in the U.S. and the industrialized world and occur more frequently in winter and spring, but they can occur any time of year.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness that can result in hospitalization or death. There are two main types of flu virus: types A and B that are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.
The flu and the common cold also have symptoms similar to COVID-19, however, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms and complications.
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How Long Am I Contagious After Starting Antibiotics
If you are sick with a bacterial infection, then your health care provider may prescribe you antibiotics, said Pittman. The likelihood of spreading infection severely decreases 24 hours after you begin antibiotics. Some common bacterial infections are conjunctivitis or pink eye, strep throat and meningitis.
Viral infections like colds and upper respiratory infections usually need to run its course. Depending on your health care providers suggestions, you may take medications to temporarily ease symptoms but your provider will not suggest antibiotics.
Because it can be hard to tell which illness is viral and bacterial, Pittman suggests calling your health care provider for guidance if your symptoms do not start to improve after two to three days. The long length of symptoms can be a sign you have a bacterial infection, which will need antibiotics.
You should always seek a healthcare professional if you or your child has symptoms that are severe or unusual, such as shortness of breath or a high temperature, especially in children under six months of age, said Pittman.
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But Are They Still Contagious
Many childhood diseases have contagious periods that are far longer than most folks imagine. Thats because we continue to shed viral particles even as we are getting better, and sometimes, even once we no longer have symptoms.
For example, some infants with rotavirus are contagious for up to 10 days and some with RSV are contagious for as long as 4 weeks!
Like the child with flu that doesnt have a fever, that doesnt mean that these kids have to stay out of school or daycare for that whole time. But since they are still contagious, it does raise the issue of what to do about non-essential activities.
Should you keep going to playdates after your child had the flu? How about the daycare at church or the gym?
In general, you should probably avoid non-essential activities while your kids are still recovering from an illness, even if they feel better, because they are likely still contagious.
Most parents have the expectation that their own kids wont be exposed to someone who is sick in these settings.
So you probably dont want to bring your sick kid to a playdate or birthday party, etc., even if he is already back in school or daycare.
How Does The Flu Spread
During the cold winter months, the flu spreads rapidly. We know that it is highly contagious and can be spread before you even have symptoms. But do you know how it is spread and passed from person to person so easily?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not due to cold weather. Although the cold, dry air may mean the virus moves and infects people more easily, it does not actually cause the illness. It’s also not really spread through the air the way many people think it is.
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How Long Am I Contagious After A Stomach Bug
Any time you have had diarrhearegardless how oftenor if you vomited twice in the past 24 hours, then you need to stay home, advised Pittman. If you vomit two or more times in one day, then that likely means you did not throw up because of something you ate or because you got too hot outside.
The stomach flu or a stomach bug is often called viral gastroenteritis, and it is highly contagious. It spreads through contact with an infected persons stool or vomit.
Some viruses, such as norovirus, can live on surfaces for more than 24 hours, and it spreads very quickly, especially with children, said Pittman. If symptoms last more than 24 hours or if you or your children start to feel dehydrated, then call your primary care provider.
How Should I Treat It
Consider giving your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed on the bottle for fevers, headache and body aches, or by your pediatrician. Have your child drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. This is especially important if your child has a high fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Keep your child apart from other members of the household, help him or her rest and keep him or her at home at least 24 hours after fever and other symptoms subside.
Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, washcloths, towels, beds, pillows, etc. until everyone in the household has been free of symptoms for five days.
Because the flu is caused by a virus it does NOT respond to antibiotics.
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How Long Is The Flu Contagious
The flu is contagious from the last 24 hours of the incubation period through the time you are experiencing symptoms.
The incubation period is the time between your exposure to the virus to the start of symptoms. This usually lasts between 24 hours and four days. This means if you are exposed to the influenza virus and become infected, you will start to get flu symptoms, such as fever and body aches, anywhere between 24 hours and four days after the exposure. The average incubation period is about two days.
Since you can be contagious 24 hours before your symptoms appear, you may spread the virus before you even know you have it. Add that to the number of people who try to push through their symptoms and expose others to their germs when they are sick, and it’s easy to see why the flu affects so many people each year.
After symptoms start, adults can spread the virus for five to 10 days. However, the amount of virus spread decreases significantly after three to five days. Adults are most contagious with the flu from 24 hours before symptoms start to three to five days afterward. As a general rule, the presence of symptoms is a good way to know that you are contagious.
In children, the flu is contagious for up to 10 days, and sometimes even beyond that. People who have serious immune system problems can spread influenza for weeks, or even months, after they get it.
How Contagious Is The Flu
The flu is considered a highly contagious disease. According to the CDC, the flu can circulate to others up to about 6 feet away.
And, some people can be infected with the flu without showing symptoms. Research shows that about 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from flu each season. When counting those who are carrying the virus without feeling sick, its believed that infection rates are closer to about 20% of the population. Even if you dont show flu symptoms, you still can spread it to others.
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Are You Too Sick To Work
First and foremost, consider whether you are putting yourself or others at risk if you go to work. You’re putting others at risk if you or your children have a contagious illness . You’re putting yourself at risk if the symptoms of your condition, or the side effects of medication, could cause you to have an accident on the job, injure others, or produce devastating mistakes in your work product. Putting anyone in harm’s way is a clear reason to stay home.
For both the cold and the flu, early symptoms may be similar. Symptoms and signs include a cough, runny nose, and feeling tired. If you know you have had contact with someone with a cold or the flu in the past few days, you should suspect you may have become infected. However, flu symptoms generally are more intense than cold symptoms. People with flu can develop fever, body aches, chills, and headaches, and some develop nausea and vomiting. Cold symptoms are much milder and usually do not require medical care. However, if you suspect you have the flu, you should seek medical care. The flu often can be diagnosed with rapid tests available to most physicians.
Is There A Vaccine
Yes. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Jynneos to prevent smallpox and monkeypox. Because monkeypox is so closely related to smallpox, vaccines for smallpox are also effective against monkeypox. In addition to Jynneos, the US has another smallpox vaccine in its stockpile, called ACAM2000. Because ACAM2000 is an older generation of vaccine with harsher side effects, it’s not recommended for everyone, including people who are pregnant or immunocompromised.
Jynneos is the vaccine currently available to people who are at higher risk of getting monkeypox, or may have already been exposed to it. The FDA recently authorized a new way of giving people Jynneos that will stretch out the limited supply through intradermal vaccination, which requires a lower dose of vaccine compared to subcutaneous injection.
Vaccinating people who’ve been exposed to monkeypox is what Adalja calls “ring vaccination,” where health officials isolate the infected person and vaccinate their close contacts to stop the spread. But vaccinating people with a confirmed exposure, in addition to people at risk of being exposed in the near future, may be crucial to getting control of the outbreak, according to the White House’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“Basically what you’re doing is stimulating the immune system with the vaccine, and getting the immune system to recognize the virus before the virus has a chance to ramp up,” Pastula said.
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What Stops The Flu From Spreading
There are multiple ways to avoid getting and spreading the flu. Here are some of the best ways:
- Washing your hands often: This will help protect you from any germs that could make their way into your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you cannot wash your hands with soapy water, then hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
- Avoiding close contact with sick people: Trying your best to stay away from sick people will help keep you from catching the flu. If youre sick with the flu, limiting your contact with other people will keep you from spreading the flu.
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing: When youre sick with the flu and cough or sneeze, tiny droplets containing the flu virus can travel through the air and infect other people. Covering your mouth and nose is a great way to help stop this.
- Wearing a face mask: The protection you get from face masks isnt exclusive to coronavirus. A face mask can protect you from the common cold and flu too.
- Staying up to date on vaccinations: Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. Flu vaccines have been proven to reduce the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and flu-related deaths.
How Do You Catch It
Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through contact with infectious sores, scabs or bodily fluids, according to the CDC, but it can also spread through prolonged face-to-face contact via respiratory droplets or by touching contaminated clothing or bedding. Research is underway on whether monkeypox can be spread through semen or vaginal fluid.
The “close” in close contact is a key element in the transmission of monkeypox. That, along with the fact that the virus that causes monkeypox appears to have a slower reproduction rate than the COVID-19 virus, sets it apart from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in June at a media briefing.
The majority of the cases in the US recently have been in men who have sex with men, the CDC says. Gay and bisexual communities tend to have particularly “high awareness and rapid health-seeking behavior when it comes to their and their communities’ sexual health,” Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said in a statement at the end of May, noting that those who sought early health care services should be applauded.
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What Else Can Help
To make spreading the flu less likely, everyone in your family should::
- Wash hands well and often with soap, especially after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating or preparing food
- Never pick up used tissues.
- Never share cups and eating utensils.
- Stay home from work or school if they have the flu.
- Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, then put it in the trash.
- Cough or sneeze into their upper arm, not their hands, if a tissue isn’t handy.
How Long Can I Spread The Flu For
The flu is contagious from the day before symptoms start to five to seven days after becoming sick. The incubation period of the flu, or how long it can take to develop symptoms after exposure and infection, is about one to four days. One reason the flu spreads so quickly is that someone can be contagious and not show signs of being sick until a few days after catching the flu virus.
The contagious periods of the flu, common cold, and stomach bug are very similar. With the common cold, you can become contagious one to two days before symptoms start, and you can remain contagious for up to two weeks. The same is true for the stomach bug, and you wont stop being contagious for several days after youve completely recovered. As far as the coronavirus is concerned, Harvard Health reports that COVID-19 can be contagious 48 to 72 hours before the first onset of symptoms. The contagious period ends about 10 days after symptoms resolve. Some infectious disease experts still recommend 14 days of isolation.
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When To See A Doctor
Most cases of the flu are mild and resolve within 1-2 weeks.
However, if youre immunocompromised, pregnant, or otherwise at risk of severe complications, reach out to your provider if you start to experience any flu symptoms.
Otherwise, healthy adults should reach out to their provider if they dont feel better within two weeks or if they experience any severe symptoms of the flu, including:
- Persistent chest pain and/or pressure
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin
- Feeling severely faint or dizzy
- Vomiting or diarrhea with inability to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated
What Is The Flu
The “flu” or influenza is a serious disease. At times it can lead to death. It is very contagious and spreads in the U.S. each year, starting in the fall and continuing through spring.
The flu is caused by a virus and spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or close contact. Young children and older adults are at highest risk of getting the flu but anyone can get it.
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When To Stay Home
When deciding whether to stay home, consider your symptoms. If you have a mild tickle in your throat or a stuffy nose, you should be able to go to work. Allergy symptoms also dont need to keep you from work. Theyre not contagious.
If youre really coughing and sneezing or you feel generally miserable, stay home. Also, avoid the office if youre vomiting or have diarrhea.
Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and wait for your symptoms to subside. The
Your doctor may recommend several treatments for your illness. Its important to consider when these treatments may be helpful and their potential side effects.
Am I Contagious With A Fever
People need to be fever free for 24 hours without the help of a fever-reducing medication before they return to work or school, Pittman said. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, school nurses are advised to send children home that have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater. The same rule of thumb goes for adults too. You need to stay home if you have had a temperature of 100.4 degrees in the past day.
A low-grade fever is any temperature above 98.6 degrees but below 100.4 degrees. Pittman says low-grade fevers are a good thing, because your body is actively fighting an infection.
If you have a low-grade fever, and you feel fine, you can participate in your usual day-to-day activities, but you need to listen to your body. She recommends if you start to feel achy, begin to sweat or develop a headache, then take your temperature again, then go home. The same recommendation goes for children.
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