Preventing the Spread of the Seasonal Flu Virus
To prevent regular seasonal influenza it is important that you:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick and stay home until 24 hours after symptoms go away.
- Avoid school, work, and large crowds when you are sick, if possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and properly discard the tissue.
- If you don’t have a tissue and need to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow. Wash your hands after you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, as germs can more easily gain entrance into your body through those areas.
- Clean countertops, doorknobs, and bedding more often (use normal household cleaners).
- A seasonal flu vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza infection and its complications.
Prepare for potential illness by gathering necessary supplies. A stay-at-home kit could include items such as a thermometer, alcohol wipes, fever reducing medications, hydration liquids, tissues, garbage sacks, masks, cleaners, and emergency contacts. Books, puzzles, games, and movies also may be included to help prevent boredom. It helps to have a plan to care for sick family members.
Treatment for Flu
Medical treatment is not needed for most children and adults who get the flu. Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers who have the flu. Call your healthcare provider to get advice on whether to be seen.
High Risk People
Children and adults who are ill and at high risk for flu complications and people with more severe flu symptoms should consult their healthcare provider or go to an emergency care clinic if they cannot reach their healthcare provider.
Antiviral medications such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza) can be helpful for some people with the flu. A physician should make this determination. To be most effective at reducing the severity of flu symptoms, these medications should be taken within the first 48 hours of becoming ill. Antibiotics will not work on a viral infection like the flu.
For more information on caring for a sick person, click here.
Wash hands often | Cover coughs and sneezes | Stay home when sick