Deciding whether to call sick


No matter how bad you feel, deciding whether or not to call due to illness can be difficult. You may be needed at work, but you may not be focused, unproductive, or destructive with your colleagues. You can be contagious, but you don't have paid sick leave. Analyzing your situation based on your symptoms can help you choose the right course of action for you and those around you.

Get Drug Information / Michela Buttignol

Symptom / problem Is the reason contagious?
Hot Most likely
Flu Yes
Vomiting or diarrhea Possible
Cough Possible
Throat pain Possible
Runny nose Possible
Headache Possible
Rash Possible
Exhaustion Possible


If you have a high fever , you most likely have a contagious illness. If your temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not go to work and expose everyone else to your illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after the temperature has dropped with such a high fever. You will know that it is really gone when you measure the temperature and get lower values after the fever stops. restorative medicines such as aspirin , Tylenol (acetaminophen) , or Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) .

Flu symptoms

The CDC also recommends staying home if you have other symptoms that suggest the flu or if you have a confirmed case of the flu .

While most people who get the flu have a fever, some do not. Other symptoms include:

  • Shaking chills
  • Cough
  • Throat pain
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

If you have family members or co-workers with confirmed cases of the flu and you experience these symptoms, they are likely caused by the flu.

Influenza is highly contagious and can have dangerous complications for vulnerable populations such as infants, the elderly, and people with cancer or other conditions that weaken the immune system. Staying home will help protect these people, especially if you are dealing with the public or traveling to work because of your job.

The CDC recommends staying home for at least four to five days after flu symptoms appear. If you are at work with flu symptoms, stay away from other workers and the public and return home as soon as possible. It is most contagious during the first three days of the flu.

Vomiting or diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea can be signs of a contagious illness or simply interfere with doing useful work. You may have stomach flu , such as that caused by the highly contagious norovirus . Or it could be due to a non-communicable medical condition, such as food poisoning , morning sickness during pregnancy, medication side effects, a hangover, or a chronic condition such as inflammatory bowel disease .

Whether contagious or not, any of these symptoms will reduce your presence at work and put you at risk for complications such as dehydration . It is best to stay home until the nausea and vomiting are gone and the stool is hard.


If you have a cold or flu and a frequent wet cough, you are still contagious and the cough will spread the virus to other people. In this case, it is better to stay home until the cough subsides or subsides. do not raise phlegm. Frequent deep coughing interferes with work.

Throat pain

A sore throat is often a sign of a contagious illness, including colds, sore throat, and the flu. In these cases, it is advisable to avoid going to work from home.

However, if you frequently experience a sore throat due to allergies, acid reflux, or dry air, or if you've used your voice too much the day before, you don't need to call a sick person. One word of caution: If you need to talk at work and a sore throat is making it difficult for you, you can take the day and rest.

Runny nose

If you have other cold or flu symptoms and a runny nose and need to blow or wipe your nose frequently, it is contagious. Nasal secretions will contain the virus and it will be difficult to prevent it from spreading to your work environment.

The CDC recommends not going to work or home school if you have cold symptoms, such as a runny nose .

However, many people have a runny nose (rhinorrhea) due to allergies . If you have a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing due to allergies, you are not contagious and you do not need to stay home to protect others. Before calling the hospital, assess whether you feel well enough to be productive.


A headache can be a symptom of the flu or another contagious illness that requires you to not go to work at home, but there are many non-infectious causes.

A severe or painful headache can keep you from doing your job efficiently and can be a good reason to call the hospital. Assess how likely it is to affect your productivity at work to decide whether or not to call due to illness.


If you have a rash with a fever, or if your doctor has diagnosed a rash as contagious, you should stay home.

There are many non-infectious causes of the rash, and even if you can't pass it on to other people, you may be suffering from symptoms (especially itching). Your appearance may also cause you anxiety if you are communicating with the public. In these cases, you will need to call in person to see what you can control.


Extreme fatigue can be a sign of an infectious disease, such as the flu. It can also accompany chronic diseases, cancer, cancer treatment, heart disease, mental health problems, sleep disorders, or pregnancy.

Burnout can make you unproductive at work and lead to mistakes, which can be critical in some professions, both for the job itself and for your safety and the safety of your team. You will need to determine if the treatment justifies the disease.

Get the word of drug information

If you work or will be in contact with babies, the elderly. or people with weakened immune systems , you should not work with any diseases that may be contagious. If your symptoms are not related to an infectious disease, you will need to consider whether you can be safe and helpful at work, and whether your symptoms will affect the work environment.

Frequently asked questions

  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, you must self-quarantine for 10 days after symptoms appear. If you tested positive but did not have any symptoms, you should be in isolation for 10 days from the day you tested positive.

  • Whenever you have a contagious disease, you should stay home. The following symptoms are very common with infectious infections: fever, chills, nasal congestion, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and vomiting.

  • Vomiting can be a sign of a contagious "stomach disease." It can also be due to non-communicable factors that don't require you to stay home, such as pregnancy, food poisoning, or gallbladder disease. If you are not sure why you are nauseated, it is best to stay home and watch for other symptoms or see your doctor. Even if you are not contagious, vomiting can make you weak and unable to work effectively or safely, so staying home when you can is your best option.

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