Flu Infection: People in the House – Ideas to Slow the Spread: (Part II)

In our previous post, we offered ideas on how to care for a person with the flu. In this second post we have tips for how to protect other people in the home who have not yet contracted the flu.

Protecting other people in the home

• If any of the people in the home have chronic health conditions, ask your healthcare provider if they should be taking antiviral medications as a preventative measure.

• If possible, have only one adult in the home take care of the sick person.

• Pregnant women should not be caring for the sick person. Pregnant women are at increased risk of influenza-related complications and immunity can be suppressed during pregnancy.

• All persons in the household should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub frequently, including after every contact with the sick person, or the sick person’s room or any bathroom.

• Use paper towels for drying hands after hand washing or dedicate cloth towels to each person in the household. For example, have different colored towels for each person.

• Try to maintaining good ventilation in shared household areas (e.g., keeping windows open in restrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc.).

• Before flu season starts, make sure all of the members of your house receive a flu vaccine. While not one hundred percent effective (because of various flu strains), it goes a long way to keeping your family healthy.

In our next blog we’ll have ideas for protecting yourself if you are the caregiver.

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