Immunosuppressed at work

slothsandpit Member Posts: 2
edited 5. Dec 2019, 05:38 in Work and financial support
Hi everyone,

I wondered whether anyone has had a similar situation to me with struggling with their immune system at work.

I started taking Imraldi in the summer and at first it was going really well. Now it's winter and it's cold season, I have been ill and getting infections for the past few months. First it was a cold into an ear infection and now a cold into bronchitis. It takes me so much longer to recover, it feels like I'm spending most of my time being ill.

I do everything I can to keep good hygiene. I wear a mask on public transport, I disinfect my hands and work station as often as I can, I eat well and drink lots, I don't smoke or drink alcohol and I exercise when I'm not ill. If my friends or family are unwell, I don't see them.

But in the last couple of months, every time I go into my office (I have a full time job) there is someone who is ill with a cold. The culture in my office is to come in with colds and although I have asked people to try and stay away from me or practice good hygiene, I'm not sure that they do. We work in one room and I don't think the office is cleaned very well, so it creates a bit of a germ hub. I've spoken to our HR department on more than one occasion to see whether there is anything they can do to support me but nothing has happened.

Has anyone had this situation? If so, have you been able to negotiate any adjustments with your employer? I'm not sure there is a solution really but the whole thing is making me really anxious.

Thank you!


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi slothsandpit and welcome to the forum.

    Sorry to hear you are struggling with recurrent infections. These are interesting questions you pose.

    When I was working in an office I always felt that the combination of open plan workspaces, air conditioning and shared desks lent itself to creating a hot-bed of germs and infections! I'd be interested to hear whether anyone can post details of their personal experiences of raising these issues with employers. One small note, I'm not sure how helpful it might be, is that when I was pregnant (and thus more susceptible to infections) my midwife advised me to touch door handles etc with the back of my hand where possible, press buttons (e.g. on pedestrian crossings) with a finger joint of a bent finger, or put my sleeve over my hand and open doors etc with the fabric covering my hand. With the idea being that it's our finger tips that come into contact with germ-ridden surfaces the most and are then if we touch our mouths or faces the germs are easily transmitted internally.

    Good luck and best wishes,

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm not surprised you're anxious. You seem to be doing everything possible but that does sound like a difficult working environment for the immunosuppressed.

    Like Mod Ann, I, to, have heard that many germs gain access via the eyes when we touch them. I can only wonder if wearing clear glasses might help.

    Also, I'm wondering if the imraldi could be decreased a lttle now if it's working well. Maybe ring your rheumatology helpline?

    Someone on here recently suggested Vick's First Defence nasal spray as a good way of getting rid of a cóld at the first sneezes. It gets good reviews but I think I'd need to check first that it was OK with DMARDS / biologics. Your local pharmacist could tell you.
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