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How sick is sick enough to stay home?


138 replies to this topic

#121 Merentha

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:17 AM

You probably should, for safety reasons, if you come into contact with patients or medical staff.

This includes the entire billing and legal department, who for obvious reasons, tend to be on the other side of the city. As this is a company that owns about 6 major hospitals scattered around the area and has their own insurance company, there are a lot of "support" staff.

#122 IheartTesla

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:46 AM

Firstly, the gain in productivity does not go back into the health system, it goes into the company's pocket. Increased producitvity of 6 billion is tiny in terms of the US economy. Secondly, it is very unlikely that the actual amount saved is 6 billion, when people are off sick their work usually gets done. In many cases a week off doesn't even realisiticlly reduce a worker's annual output, as the work gets caught up with anyway. And much of the flu loss is likely to be, in reality, absenteeism.


The cost of providing vaccines for the general population is even more trivial compared to the entire US economy.

Also, there are muliplier effects from other aspects of influenza related illness. The CDC mention 80 billion worth of costs of which about 9 billion are health care related.

#123 Aemon Stark

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

There are actually quite firm reasons why people with asthma might not want to have a flu jab.


Such as...? People with asthma certainly aren't suffering from a "weakened" immune system.

#124 Arbur Goldarelli

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

I've been cursed throughout my career with several superiors who pretty much thought that anyone who called in sick was lying about it.

I'm on the tail end (no pun intended but it is pretty hilarious, considering) of two days of what I assume to be food poisoning and I have a work function tonight that I really, really want to skip, but I feel like "food poisoning" sounds like a lie! Trying to figure out a way to explain that I don't want to commute for an hour to drink at a hotel when a) I don't want to be far from a bathroom for so long and b ) I'm not really eating yet, let alone drinking. Gah.

#125 Fragile Bird

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

There is no shame in saying you believe you have the flu. I think it's become a pretty common response to invitations recently.

#126 Sixshells

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

That's precisely what I thought, which is why str8's comments were really confusing.


I can think of one very firm reason why I always get my flu jab. I fight off a cold as well as you do - no immunological issues there - with the one exception of the chest complications. A cold that would leave you sick for a week leaves me wheezing for three weeks minimum, sometimes up to two months. The flu would be worse. I do not want to catch it, therefore I get the jab just in case it does any good.

Furthermore, from str8t's own link to the NHS website, flu vaccination is recommended for people with asthma, which is contradicts his assertion that they shouldn't get it.

A perfectly healthy person with influenza does not suffer any medical risk from getting flu. A pregnant women slightly more so, which is why, if they are pregnant in winter time, it is usually best for them to be vaccinated. But given the probabilities of contracting the illness, it is statistically a waste of resources to vaccinate others, as the level of vaccination needed to create herd immunity is impossible to achieve. The money spent on vaccinating the healthy could be much better used ensuring that all vulnerable groups receive the vaccine.

Firstly, the gain in productivity does not go back into the health system, it goes into the company's pocket. Increased producitvity of 6 billion is tiny in terms of the US economy. Secondly, it is very unlikely that the actual amount saved is 6 billion, when people are off sick their work usually gets done. In many cases a week off doesn't even realisiticlly reduce a worker's annual output, as the work gets caught up with anyway. And much of the flu loss is likely to be, in reality, absenteeism.

Regardless of complications (given they are statistically unlikely, not that they cannot happen ever), there are excellent reasons why a healthy person would want to get a flu shot, even without taking into account having to take sick days. Feeling like shit for easily twoo weeks for one.
You say the gains in productivity won't translate in means for the health care system but it doesn't need to be that way. If the output of the economy is more important that means more ability for the health care system to gather ressources, at least if politicians will it.
Furthermore, if you make it free for people at risk and let the others getting it if they pay for it (whether themselves or their employer) for a reasonable fee, you get the double advantage of higher population coverage and resources control for the health care system. Heck that's less people who will then go to their doctor and ask for several flu management medicine and medicine against superinfection, that are going to be at least partially covered by the health care system. So I don't see why it should be made inaccessible to not at risk people at all.

#127 Aemon Stark

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

Far better to make the flu shot freely available than to stockpile a drug like Tamiflu, which is expensive and does basically nothing.

#128 str8 outta Old Town

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

Such as...? People with asthma certainly aren't suffering from a "weakened" immune system.


Asthma can be associated with egg allergy.

#129 Sixshells

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

The operating word here being "can". If you don't have egg allergy but have asthma, go ahead and get the shot if you wish to.
Besides, there are egg free vaccines for those who suffer from egg allergy.

#130 Aemon Stark

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

Asthma can be associated with egg allergy.


Not commonly. Usually it's associated with dust allergy, hay fever, and atopic dermatitis, ie eczema.

Anyway there are egg-free vaccines. It's a moot point.

#131 Merentha

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

Asthma can be associated with egg allergy.

Egg free vaccines are readily available for those who have such allergies.

#132 str8 outta Old Town

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:49 AM

http://www.guardian....doctors-wont-do

Totally coincidentally I jusut saw this in today's Guardian:





… have the flu jab

I won't have the flu jab. Elderly patients, or those with a chronic debilitating condition such as heart failure, should consider it, but there is not much evidence that it is of benefit in otherwise healthy young people. Furthermore, the evidence that inoculation of healthcare workers protects patients is very scanty and yet there is massive pressure brought to bear on healthcare workers to be inoculated.
Stephen Leslie, cardiologist and honorary professor, University of Stirling



#133 Fragile Bird

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:01 AM

There's always someone who wants to walk up the down escalator. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#134 Skunkbelly

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

[rant] I wish I could stay home. The sidewalks on campus are horrendous with ice and snow and I'm still on crutches. I was told that I'd be non-weight bearing for "at least a month" which I (naively?) took to mean a month. I could get away with five weeks of either working from home or working reduced hours, as it was semester break. Then I go back and see the ortho and he says "Not full weight bearing yet. I really did a lot of work in there, you know." [/rant]

#135 Sixshells

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

http://www.guardian....doctors-wont-do

Totally coincidentally I jusut saw this in today's Guardian:



Also coincidentally, you can see several cases where different doctors hold different opinions on similar subjects. Without saying they entirely contradict each other, it serves to indicate that you should take these opinions with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, nobody is contesting that some people at risk should be prioritized to get a flu vaccination. What we are arguing against is its unecessariness in other people.

#136 Merentha

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

Also coincidentally, you can see several cases where different doctors hold different opinions on similar subjects. Without saying they entirely contradict each other, it serves to indicate that you should take these opinions with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, nobody is contesting that some people at risk should be prioritized to get a flu vaccination. What we are arguing against is its unecessariness in other people.

You should also note that the physician in question is a cardiologist. He may know fuck-all about infection as a matter of public health rather than individual goals.

#137 Brady

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:03 PM

It's like I always tell my son Maverock "If you're sick enough to stay at home you dont get any ice cream!" Assuming he likes ice cream. Which I do because he's my son. Usually he caves and decides to go to school. Assuming he's already in school. I think he is.

#138 str8 outta Old Town

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:21 AM

You should also note that the physician in question is a cardiologist. He may know fuck-all about infection as a matter of public health rather than individual goals.


He seems to be basing his information on studies, given his use of the phrases "there is not much evidence" and "the ecidence is very scanty". If this is not based on published studies, then the man shouldn't be a doctor.

Edited by str8 outta Old Town, 24 January 2013 - 12:21 AM.


#139 Procrastimancer

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:49 PM

I work in a small room with two other people, so it is a dick move to come in sick and I try not to when I have something. On the other hand, my job is part-time for a giant retail chain that strictly adheres to an attendance policy that ensures I have to come in or else be punished for my attendance on top of being barely able to pay my bills.



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