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?
Person to Person
The main way that influenza viruses are thought to spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. (This is called "droplet spread.") This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby. Influenza viruses may also be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their own mouth or nose (or someone...
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.
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.
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!