This Week’s Medical Q&A: How Sick Is Sick?

1.     How sick is too sick to call in Sick to work That is a
surprisingly difficult question to answer.

The answer depends on what your job is and what your illness is, and of course how you feel.  For example- if you have a simple cold, you are not to sick to go to work if your job is office based, but if your job is as a caregiver for someone else with a lot of health problems you may not want to run the risk of infecting your client with your illness. Or as another example- if your illness is due to a broken toe, you can
certainly go to work if your job is sitting, but might need to call in sick if
your job involves lots of standing and walking.  I would also suggest you
call in sick if your illness affects your job performance- for example, if you
have a stomach “bug”, you certainly won’t be able to sit at your
desk- you will be spending most of the time in the restroom! Ultimately,
however, the decision of wheter or not you are too sick to work is your
personal decison- some people are able to work with an illness while others
with the same illness are not able to work.

2. What are symptoms of ‘Pink Eye’?

Pink eye or conjuncivitis, is an infection of the surface of the
eye.  It is most commonly due to viruses. The usual symptoms are redness
of the white part of the eye and a mucus-looking discharge from the eye that may cause the eyelids to become matted and stick together.  There is usually
no pain with Pink eye, but the eye may itch and be somewhat sensetive to light.

3.     At what age does the FDA define children (specifically for taking
prescriptions?

For the purposes of prescribing medications, the FDA usually
considers someone a child until they are in their late teens.  However,
this rule is not “cut and dry” and very much depends on the
medication (some are absolutely forbidden for children, some are OK for older
kids but not babies, some are OK for all), the age of the patient, the illness
that is being treated (sometimes medicines are given to children even if they
are not approved, if there are no alternatives) and so on.  The FDA makes
its decision partly on legal interpetation – in other words, they use the legal
definition of “minor” to define children.

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