PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – So you think that you’ve been one of the lucky co-workers to be chosen by the flu? Or maybe it’s strep throat that’s come to visit. Either way, you’re illness isn’t just affecting your body, it’s affecting those around you.

Dr. Amy Crawford-Faucher, MD, FAAFP, is a family practice physician at the UPMC Department of Family Medicine. She’s also the Interim Medical Director for WPIC Primary Care.

Dr. Crawford-Faucher stresses that you should take time off of work when you’re not feeling well because all you’re doing is spreading germs.

“We use flu in two different ways, in the medical community flu means influenza, a respiratory illness that’s caused by the influenza virus and there are multiple strains of this virus that are put in to the vaccine every year,” said Dr. Crawford-Faucher. “In the community they feel that flu kind of equals this nasty chest cold, flu-bug. But ’tis the season and it seems to be a fairly busy flu season so far in this part of Pennsylvania.”

Mike Pintek states that he does not ever like to take time off from work for being sick, he feels guilty. But Dr.  Crawford-Faucher says that you’re body is actually sick for 6 to 7 days and you’ll need 3 to 4 days for recovery. The moral of her story is if you’re sick, take time off.

Pintek never gets a flu shot because he hasn’t had the flu for years and doesn’t see the point. He feels that injecting your body with a virus isn’t helping you. Dr. Crawford-Faucher explained that it’s not a real influenza virus but admits that she even feels a little “down” the day after she receives the vaccine.

“Healthy adults feel like they’re going to die when they get the flu, but they’re not for the most part,” said Dr. Crawford-Faucher. “However, if you are older, have chronic medical conditions or are very young you could die. Now it is very rare that could happen, but that’s why we in the medical community stress the vaccine because it’s pretty darn effective at preventing the flu.”

There are three suggestions she leaves the listeners with to keep from getting sick; get the flu shot, wash your hands a lot and be aware of things around you.

“Germs don’t live long outside of the body but many germs enter our bodies through our eyes, nose and mouth,” said Dr. Crawford-Faucher. “The outdoor weather doesn’t make you sick, however it could weaken your immune system allowing you to become susceptible to more germs.”

She warns that if you were to get sick today and get the flu shot right after, it won’t stop the virus. The vaccination will need 2 weeks before it begins working in your system.

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