Toronto, Ontario January 7, 2014 – With the flu season in full swing, Ontario’s doctors are encouraging people who are sick to stay home. “I can’t stress it enough going to work while sick is bad for you and potentially worse for your colleagues. Staying home to rest will help you to manage your illness and prevent others from getting infected,” said Dr. Scott Wooder, President of the Ontario Medical Association. “Think about those around you, and please don’t take the flu to work.”
The flu is highly contagious. Most cold and flu viruses are spread because people touch surfaces and then touch their faces, other objects and other people. Employers should encourage workers to stay home when sick – not require sick notes which has a discouraging effect and forces patients into the doctor’s office when they are sick, which only encourages the spread of germs to those in the waiting room, who in some cases are more vulnerable. People such as children, seniors and those living with chronic diseases are more susceptible to the flu and are at a greater risk from its complications.
Following a few basic guidelines such as coughing and sneezing into an elbow, using hand sanitizer, and washing hands frequently will help prevent the flu. These are important tips, but getting the flu shot is still the best defence against the flu. If you haven’t received the flu shot yet this year, it’s not too late to make an appointment with your doctor. It’s important to protect yourself and those around you by taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the flu. Remember, if you’re sick, please stay home!
Scott Wooder, MD
Ontario Medical Association