Do you need a doctor? If, however, you've decided to stay home from work, how do you know whether you should call for an appointment with your physician? Caldwell says if you suspect you have the flu, it's best to get into your doctor right away. That's because anti-viral medications to fight the flu, like Tamiflu, work best with the first one to two days after the onset of symptoms.
"They’re not miracle drugs," Caldwell says. "They just shorten the duration that people feel terrible."
And people with certain other medical conditions -- like asthma -- or those who are very young (infants and toddlers) and very old should see their doctors right away if they develop flu-like symptoms, Caldwell says.
When can you go back? You’ve spent an entire, miserable day in bed eating chicken soup and watching Mad Men on Netflix. Is it safe to go back to work the next day? Well, that depends, says Caldwell. The best indicator of your health is still your fever. If you've been without a fever for 24 hours -- and without medication to reduce that fever -- then it's likely you're no longer contagious and can go back to work.