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Do you dread calling in sick? Whether it’s the fear of a judgmental boss or just concerns about missing out on important happenings, health experts want to put you at ease. There are times when making the call is a must. Confused about whether staying home is a good idea?

Here are five signs, from the experts at WebMD, that you need to make the call to your boss and head back to bed:

1. If you wake up feel pretty icky with a sore throat and the sniffles (which weren’t there yesterday). Health experts say that the first few hours/days of a virus tend to be the most contagious, so spare your co-workers your germs and keep your sneezy self at home until the following day.

2. If you’re taking medications that may (even slightly) impair your ability to do a good job. Whether it’s a prescription medication or just over-the-counter cold meds that makes you feel like a space cadet, if the medicine you’re taking is impairing you in any way, it’s best to stay home.

3. If you have a bad sinus infection. Experts say that sinus infections can cause yellow or green nasal discharge, jaw pain, facial pain, and headaches–all of which are a major blow to concentration. Your best bet? Stay home and use your neti pot, and maybe venture out, but only to see your doctor.

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4. If you have pink eye. The majority of “pink eye” is viral and clears up on its own in about 24 to 48 hours. Other cases are bacterial pink eye, and you need antibiotic eye drops from your doc. Both, however, are extremely contagious, so unless you want dirty looks from your office mates, better stay home!

5. Bad back pain. You may feel like a wimp calling in sick because your back hurts, but don’t! Experts say sitting at a desk all day can actually aggravate your back and make the pain worse. Instead, after a mega back spasm, spend the day at home taking it easy.

Do you abide by these “rules”? Or do you tend to dread calling in sick?

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