WHAT IS BELIEVED to be a new strain of the H1N1 flu virus is making its rounds through the South African public at a considerable speed. Close contact and office heating make offices breeding grounds for illnesses.
If you’re somebody who’s been affected by a cold or influenza this African winter you might want to think before popping ‘flu medication ahead of your commute daily car commute.
A common side-effect can be drowsiness and that could be fatal.
MasterDrive’s bossman Eugene Herbert warns that, while most drivers are probably aware of this they still under-estimate the meds’ effect on their driving.
“That could be a recipe for disaster. Studies suggest that driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as being intoxicated. Some medications can reduce reaction time, increase drowsiness, and cause nausea and dizziness.
”If you experience these symptoms while on the road you will be in a very dangerous position. Rather save the medication until you reach your workplace.”
For those who need to drive for a living – salespeople or delivery drivers – life becomes more complicated.
Herbert again: “There is almost no scenario where it is safe to take ‘flu medication If you’re on the road most of the time and employers and managers should be aware of this. They should make sure the person takes sick leave or switch to desk duties until well enough to return to the roads.”
Employers, Herbert suggests, should run awareness campaigns about the drowsy dangers of driving while medicated – and strongly discourage it. They should also have plans for employees whose driving time affects their income.
”Such employees are more likely to feel pressurised to return to work early or use over-the-counter medication to help them working while ill. The safety of your employees and even the well-being of your company may depend on it.”