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More than 1 in 4 Americans go to work while sick

More than 1 in 4 Americans go to work while sick
When she grows up, she may be among the 26% of Americans who go to work despite being under the weather. (Peter Adams)

More than one in four Americans are so afraid of missing work that they head into the office even when sniffling and sneezing, a study says.

Many are worried about falling behind on their jobs, missing pay or facing the wrath of bosses who expect them to show up no matter what, according to a survey by NSF International, which tests and certifies public health products.

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Nearly 20% of Americans report always showing up for work while sick. And 17% of workers say they stay home only if a doctor orders them to, the report says.

"A majority of Americans indicate the major reason is because of workload," NSF said in a statement. "Many have deadlines or are afraid they will have too much work to make up if they take a sick day."

The report also found that about one-quarter of Americans say they work because their bosses expect them to even while battling a bug. Men are also much more likely to fight through their illness — 33% of males surveyed said they do so, compared with 17% of women.

This kind of attitude is, surprisingly, not frowned upon by a vast portion of healthy colleagues who are working side by side human petri dishes.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed view sick co-workers as "hard workers." Only 16% said people who came into work ill were disrespecting the well-being of their fellow worker bees.

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