Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc., in conjunction with the Ontario Medical Association, is requesting employers reconsider their sick-note policies this ’flu season so doctors can dedicate their time to treating the more seriously ill rather than those who are recovering and only require return-to-work documentation.
“Our emergency departments are for critically-ill patients, not patients who require a back-to-work slip,” explained emergency physician Dr. John Nelson.
“If a patient has mild ’flu-like symptoms and no pre-existing illnesses of concern, the most important thing that can be done to prevent others from being infected is to stay home,” the OMA said.
“Going to the doctor’s office or the emergency department just to get a note . . . puts many others at risk,” it added.
More research is being done, however it is believed the H1N1 ’flu virus is infectious for one day before the onset of symptoms and continues for roughly seven days after symptoms have started.
The time it takes between being infected and experiencing symptoms is between two and seven days.
If you get ’flu-like symptoms and are pregnant or have underlying health problems, contact your health-care provider.
If you get ’flu-like symptoms and are otherwise healthy, you should stay home to recover.
If your symptoms worsen, or you experience difficulty breathing or serious shortness of breath, it is important to seek medical attention.
Be prepared. Have pain and fever medication on hand like Tylenol and Advil to treat fever and headaches, a thermometer, an extra supply of essential medication, like insulin for diabetics, and soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep hands clean.
Also have non-perishable food, like canned soup, fruits, and vegetables, and liquids, like water and juice, in case you can’t get to the grocery store.
Remember, the best prevention in the spread of infectious diseases is washing your hands often.
Also, keep common surfaces disinfected, like phones, handrails, etc., and cough or sneeze into your arm instead of your hand.
Riverside also is highly recommending the ’flu vaccination for the public.
Contact Public Health at 274-9827 for more information.