When can you go back to work or school if you have the flu?


While battling the flu, your body needs couch time to rest and recover. After a few days, maybe you are getting very bored with daytime TV and eager to get back into your routine.

But colds and the flu are very contagious and it’s important not to rush going back to school and work.

This year is a particularly harsh flu season. 

Here’s some guidelines on how long you should stay home:

How long to stay to home 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

Check with your child's daycare or school before sending your child back. Many have rules and it’s generally at least a full day after they don't have any fever without medication.

How long is a person with the flu contagious?

In general, about a week. People with the flu may be able to infect others from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. However, children and people with weakened immune systems can infect others for longer periods of time, especially if they still have symptoms.

What should you do while while sick: 

Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a face mask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.

MORE: How to protect your family from the flu at school, work

MORE: Have the flu? Atlanta archbishop advises ill Catholics to skip Mass

MORE: 8 things you need to know about this year’s really bad flu season   

READ: The agony of ER waits: Flu season is making them worse 

READ: Father of Coweta teen who died of flu asks, “Why?”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Trump’s gamble hits reality check with North Korea
Trump’s gamble hits reality check with North Korea

President Donald Trump attempted a revolutionary approach to North Korea — a gamble that negotiating prowess and deal-making charm in a face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong Un could accomplish what no American president or diplomat had dared to attempt in the 65 years since an uneasy armistice settled over the Korean Peninsula.  It was a bold...
Police: Driver finds gun stuck in front of his car
Police: Driver finds gun stuck in front of his car

Police said a driver on I-5 saw a "black object" moving through the air and, when he pulled over miles later, near Lakewood, Washington, he found a gun stuck in the front of his car.  The driver continued for about 18 miles after the object struck his car, and then stopped for gas, Washington Trooper Guy Gill said.  Photos show...
Scientists worry brain-wasting ‘zombie deer’ disease could spread to humans
Scientists worry brain-wasting ‘zombie deer’ disease could spread to humans

Deer across North America are dying from a mysterious disease that gradually destroys the animal’s nervous system, and scientists are concerned that the infection could spread to humans.  >> Read more trending news  Chronic wasting disease — or “zombie deer disease” — was first observed in 1967 in Fort...
Teen charged in crash that killed 3, including a baby: ‘I never saw anyone coming’
Teen charged in crash that killed 3, including a baby: ‘I never saw anyone coming’

A metro Atlanta teenager who is charged in a crash that killed three people, including a 3-month-old baby, said she was looking at the road at the time of the deadly incident. >> Read more trending news  "I never saw anyone coming,” Zoe Reardon, 18, told WSB-TV. “My eyes were on the road,” she said. Reardon faces eight...
Kroger just bought Home Chef for $200 million: 5 other major changes to expect
Kroger just bought Home Chef for $200 million: 5 other major changes to expect

Kroger Co. is buying Home Chef, the country’s largest private meal kit company, in deal that could reach $700 million, according to the Cincinnati-based grocery chain. >> Read more trending news  The initial transaction price is $200 million and future payments of up to $500 million over five years are contingent on achieving certain...
More Stories