It’s shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years.
If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are sick with the flu, this one’s for you.
You’ve spent the past couple of days cooped up in your house watching bad TV, fighting the fever sweats and expelling a baffling amount of mucus. As you start to resemble a human being again, you might feel pressure to head back to work.
But when is it really OK to return? Many people go back as soon as their symptoms start to resolve, which could be putting your co-workers at risk.
Those unpleasant symptoms are actually the result of your immune response battling the flu virus. Take fever for example. Your body starts a fever because the flu virus doesn’t grow as well at high temperatures, and some immune cells actually work better.
All that gooey mucus you’ve been coughing up is good at trapping viruses before they can infect other cells.Your body is in an all out war, you against the virus. Immune cells seek out and destroy virus-infected cells.
As your airways get irritated, you cough and sneeze. And that’s exactly what the flu wants. That’s because the flu is spread from person to person in virus-containing droplets that are produced when a sick person coughs, sneezes or even breathes. When you cough, tiny droplets that fly from your mouth can travel as far as 20 feet at speeds ranging from 25-50 mph. Sometimes they can stay suspended for hours. To read more from MADELINE K. SOFIA and MEREDITH RIZZO click here.