Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Stay Home if You're Sick

The flu season is finally raising its ugly head here in N. Texas.  It's running a bit late, and will hopefully have a short and very mild run.  The flu is one of those things that I have to avoid like the plague. The flu, upper respiratory infections, and just viruses in general are very hazardous to my health.   The anti-rejection drugs that help keep me alive, also repress my immune system.  This is my "Going Out and About" look anytime I'm in a large group of people, or have the potential of being around someone who might be sick.


There are quite a few of us, people with compromised immune systems, out in the wild.  Transplant recipients are only one small part of this population.  Chemotherapy has a tendency to pretty much destroy the immune system, and I understand that somewhere in the range of 1.000.000 people undergo Chemo every year.  There are many other reasons for someone to have a weakened immune system, so you can expect to come in contact with one of us at some point during the day.

I decided to talk about disease and compromised immune systems because there have been quite a few people posting on social media about how sick they are, and how they wouldn't wish how they are feeling on their enemies.  The next thing you know they are posting about how they are at work, or some event, and how poorly they still feel. There really is only one thing to say to that.


Please, if you are sick, stay home.  Your friends and coworkers really do not want to share your illness, they would prefer that you keep it to yourself.  There is also the small issue of the fact that your illness could result in my hospital stay.  We don't even have to come in contact with each other for you to share your illness with me.  Just walking through the same air you coughed in, up to several minutes after your cough, could expose someone with a weak immune system to illness.  Harvard Medical School reports that: 
Influenza may cause bad cold symptoms. But in the United States alone, 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu.
  Even more die from pneumonia, so please think twice before going out in public when you are sick.  Your friends, coworkers, and random strangers like myself would appreciate it.

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