Skip to content

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Select An Article

Common Cold: Too Sick to Work?

Font Size

While you can try to run from a common cold, you can't hide. And you must use common sense before you expose others at work to your cold virus. Findings show that when we're sick with the common cold, we're not very productive. In fact, lost productivity on the job accounts for up to 60% of employer health costs -- more than if the sick employees had taken a sick day.

So, what should you do when you wake up sneezing, congested, and feeling miserable from a common cold?

Recommended Related to Cold & Flu

Exercising When Sick: A Good Move?

You have been so great about your new exercise routine, rarely missing a day since you started up again. Then all of a sudden you are waylaid by a cold or flu. What should you do? Should you skip the treadmill or forsake that Pilates class for a late afternoon nap? Will it be hard to get started again if you skip a day or two?

Read the Exercising When Sick: A Good Move? article > >

Sniffling

If you are sniffling but not achy or feverish and feel fine otherwise, you probably have allergies. With allergies, you can go to work. Several over the counter options exist for treatment of mild allergies. Some medications which often cause sleepiness are: diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine; medications with less of this side effect include loratidine and cetirizine. if your symptoms are severe or do not improve with antihistamines, you might want to see an allergist to find out what's triggering your allergies.

 Allergy symptoms can rob you of quality of life, especially when they occur day after day. Your allergist can do allergy tests to find out your allergy triggers. Your allergist may then recommend allergy shots (immunotherapy) to help decrease your allergy symptoms.

For in-depth information, see WebMD's Allergy or Cold Symptoms?

Chills and Sweats

If your clothes are getting drenched, you most likely have a fever. Drink more fluids and consider seeing your doctor, especially if your fever is over 102 degrees F. That could be a sign that you have the flu. Stay away from work -- and friends -- until you feel better.

If you have a fever plus white patches on your tonsils, you may have strep throat. Strep throat is highly contagious and you may need an antibiotic. Call your doctor for a strep test.

For in-depth information, see WebMD's Sore Throat: Cold, Strep Throat, or Tonsillitis?

Coughing

If you've got a tickle in the back of your throat or it feels like you have postnasal drip, your cough is probably from allergies or the common cold. But unless you've got other common cold symptoms such as aches or fever, get dressed and go to work!

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
 
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
 
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
Slideshow
cold weather
VIDEO
 
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Article
Boy holding ear
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

woman receiving vaccine shot
Article
woman with fever
Article
 
Waking up from sleep
Article
woman with sore throat
Slideshow