WORKING

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Anti-Virus Protection

Your nose is running and your phone is ringing. Your computer and e-mail are warmed up, but you still have the chills.

If you're working even though you're sick, how do you manage your cough in your cube?

First rule: Do no harm. That means you skip long meetings, wash your hands a lot and avoid hanging out in other folks' offices.

Second rule: Help yourself so you actually can do some work. In a recent discussion on the MetaFilter community blog, others who have worked sick suggested herbal teas, fresh fruit juices, over-the-counter drugs and vegetable sushi with plenty of wasabi to clear the head.

Doctors advise clear liquids, at least six glasses a day. And Darrell Hulisz, a doctor of pharmacy who teaches at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine, says if tissues aren't handy, cough in the inside of your elbow, not your hand. This will avoid passing along germs in handshakes.

Hulisz also suggests packing a "cough survival kit" -- tissues, antibacterial gel and a cough suppressant spray. Other packables: soup, cough drops, extra vitamins and one of those traveler's neck pillows just in case the phone stops ringing long enough to allow a nap.

-- Vickie Elmer


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