The Workplace During Flu Season

This year’s winter flu season will pose some unique challenges due to the extensive overlap in the symptoms of seasonal colds and flu and the coronavirus.

Colds, Flu and the Coronavirus at Work

The NHS has recently shared the following tips on distinguishing between colds, the flu and the coronavirus.

The NHS says flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:

  • a sudden fever — a temperature of 38°C or above
  • an aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • feeling sick and being sick.

Telling the difference between a cold and the flu can be tricky, but the NHS points out that the flu:

  • tends to appear quickly within a few hours
  • affects more than just your nose and throat
  • makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal.

In contrast, a cold:

  • appears gradually
  • affects mainly your nose and throat
  • makes you feel unwell, but generally sufferers feel well enough to carry on as normal (e.g. to do their work)

According to the NHS, three key symptoms to be aware of in the case of the coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature — this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not necessarily need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough — this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste — you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

The NHS states that most people with coronavirus should have at least one of these symptoms.

If you are concerned you should:

  • Book a Covid test online or call 119 to get a test if there are problems using the internet.
  • Not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy but should use online coronavirus service or call 111.

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