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You Are Not My Epidemiologist, My Virologist, or My Yoga instructor
January 14, 2013 3:31 PM   Subscribe

I think I have the flu--or to be more precise, I think I am fighting the flu. But as usually happens, rather than straightforwardly getting sick and then getting better, I seem stuck in the early stage of not having terribly severe symptoms (congestion etc) but being exhausted, achy, and running a very low-grade fever on and off. This may go on for two weeks or longer. I rarely get "sick". Given that people are most contagious in the early days of flu infection, same with colds if that what it is, does this mean that I am infectious for longer than most people? And based on your opinion on that, is it (a) a good idea for me to go to hatha yoga, (b) where there's an immuno-compromised (person who is doing or has recently completed chemo) person in my class?
posted by sarahkeebs to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You're sick, there's an immuno-compromised person there. Don't go.
posted by wrok at 3:34 PM on January 14, 2013 [22 favorites]


If you're running a fever off and on while congested I think it would be a very good idea to avoid a situation where you know you are being exposed to an immuno-compromised person. So I would absolute skip the yoga class 'cause you are indeed probably contagious if you're sneezing or coughing.
posted by Justinian at 3:35 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


My wife, who is an epidemiologist (although not yours:), said please stay home.
posted by PlantGoddess at 3:40 PM on January 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's good of you to be concerned. I'd say don't risk it if there is any doubt. Imagine how awful you would feel if you went and then found out the person got really sick soon after.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please don't risk it. I was immunocompromised due to chemo a few years ago, and my treatment got set back by several weeks at one point due to getting horrifically sick after someone sneezed in my face in public. (Which is nothing compared to what happened to one of my cousins about 20 years ago; he was immunocompromised after successfully finishing treatment for lymphoma, and he picked up measles from someone and subsequently died from it.)
posted by scody at 3:56 PM on January 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would stay home-- gyms and yoga studios are breeding grounds for germs, and it would be a shame if anyone in your class, especially someone already recovering from chemo, were to get sick as well. You might also feel better and recover more quickly if you do low-level exercises at home, in your own house free from everyone else's flu viri or colds!
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:02 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whenever anyone in the family runs a fever, we stay home. Kids stay home from school (school nurses have actually thanked me for following the "24 hours fever-free before return" rule), parents stay home from work, everyone stays home from activities.

So yeah. Stay home. Get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids, and take something for your aches if they get bad.
posted by cooker girl at 4:03 PM on January 14, 2013


Please don't ever knowingly expose healthy people to your cold germs and viruses, much less people with compromised immune systems.
posted by elizardbits at 4:20 PM on January 14, 2013


What do you mean by low-level fever and being achy? Are you actually above 100 degrees? There are a number of auto-immune conditions that can cause higher than normal temps like 99 degrees (but not actual fever), fatigue, as well as joint pain. If this happens to you a lot it might not be a flu, it might be another condition that you should get checked out. That doesn't mean you should go to yoga, it doesn't sound worth taking the chance.

That said, if you have congestion at all and/or you have a genuine fever, then scratch what I said above. It's a bit hard for me to tell from the question whether you're really getting the flu/colds.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2013


Stay home. If you are getting sick, then pushing yourself to work and workout isn't going to help you recover. Sick people stay home, eat soup and watch cheesy movies on Lifetime.

You'll miss a workout and hopefully, you'll be fully recovered soon.
posted by 26.2 at 5:22 PM on January 14, 2013


In terms of immunocompromised people, there is never any good reason to risk passing an illness to a person who is immunocompromised, so please don't go hang out with that person while you are still sick and try to guess when you stop being contagious. The normal rules on contagion do not apply when you're exposing a person with a nonfunctional immune system. However, having a course of chemo immunocompromises someone for a specific period of time. Usually the lowest point for their blood counts will be 1-2 weeks after the chemo treatment, by about 4 weeks the blood counts should be coming back up towards normal. That's just an FYI, since you don't know this person's medical details my policy would be just not to go near them when you're sick, regardless.

By the way, your description of having two weeks of congestion/cough, muscle aches, fatigue is not an unusual way to experience the flu. Not everyone feels like they're on death's doorstep with it.

In terms of what your illness means to you, just keep in mind that a fever is officially a temp of >100.3 degrees Fahrenheit (an oral or rectal core temperature, that is, other types of thermometers are fairly unreliable). The "low grade fever" of 99.5 or "My temperature runs low so 98.6 is a fever for me" are not what medical science means when it talks about fevers, whatever their meaning is amongst the lay public. ....IANYD.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 6:44 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


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