The Flu and You

Protect yourself – and others from flu

For many of us, having perfect attendance at school or work has been a mark of dedication. The drive to give our all is, and has long been a big part of our culture.

But giving our all today could mean giving it a rest – especially when it comes to protecting our families and colleagues from illness.

Flu symptoms include:

  • fever (100 degrees or higher) with cough and/or sore throat
  • extreme tiredness
  • headache
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle aches
  • nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, also can occur but are more common in children than adults

If you experience these symptoms, stay away from other people as much as possible. Remain home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Your workplace will not implode if you’re not there. You might think you’re doing colleagues a favor by trying not to unload your work on them. But your well-meaning attempt at teamwork could spread illness. Think about how you feel when office mates come to work with red noses, tissue-laden pockets and a cough that hurts you just to hear it. No one wants to be near them – or you – like that.

Keep children who are sick home from school and group childcare. I know it’s not easy – especially when you have several children and they’re all sick at different times. You’d want other parents to do the same.

If you’re a student, stay home. Your professor will most likely be happy you did. If he or she gives you a problem, I’m happy to drop an email explaining why you deserve an “A” missing class. Refrain from visiting friends and even from shopping.

Refrain from shopping and any unnecessary trips. You’ll prevent strangers from getting the flu – at least from you, and you won’t wear yourself down more.

In addition to staying home when you’re sick, cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often.

Be sure to get a flu shot – especially if you are pregnant, have children, have a chronic illness are 50 or older or live or care for others at high-risk for flu complications. Make sure your children get their flu shot, too.


For information about seasonal flu, visit the United States Department of Health and Human Services web site at or the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services web site at

To schedule an appointment with an AtlantiCare physician or for more information about AtlantiCare programs and services, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000.