Skip to content

    Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

    Select An Article

    Common Cold: Too Sick to Work?

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    You wake up in the morning and you're not feeling so great. Maybe sneezing is your No. 1 problem. Or you've got a doozy of a headache. Whatever is bothering you, you've got a decision to make: Stay home or head to work?

    Take stock of your symptoms and see if they meet this commonsense standard for calling in sick:

    Recommended Related to Cold & Flu

    Swine Flu and the Elderly

    What is it about swine flu that has people so nervous? Should seniors in particular be worried? To learn more, WebMD went to medical experts and got their answers to these and other questions about the 2009 H1N1 virus.

    Read the Swine Flu and the Elderly article > >

    Sniffling

    If you've the sniffles, but you're not achy or feverish and feel fine otherwise, you probably have allergies. It's OK to go to work.

    You can turn to several over-the-counter medicines to treat mild allergies. But keep in mind that some medications, such as diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine, can make you sleepy. Drugs with less of this side effect include loratidine and cetirizine.

    If your hay fever is severe or doesn't get better with antihistamines, you might want to see an allergist. He can do tests to find out what's triggering the problem. He may recommend allergy shots to reduce your symptoms.

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

    Chills and Sweats

    If your clothes are getting drenched, you most likely have a fever. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids. Consider seeing your doctor, especially if your temperature 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. It's highly contagious and you may need an antibiotic. Call your doctor for a test that can confirm the diagnosis.

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

    1 | 2 | 3
    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
     
    woman receiving vaccine shot
    Article
    woman with fever
    Article
     
    Waking up from sleep
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Slideshow