August 28, 2009
If You are Sick with the Flu
- Know the signs and symptoms of flu. Symptoms of flu can include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms can include runny nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting.
- If you are a student who becomes ill with flu-like symptoms, call or go to the student health center serving your school or campus. If you are a student not eligible to be seen at a student health center or if you are an employee, call or go to your physician or an appropriate medical facility in your community. Follow your doctor’s or nurse’s instructions.
- If you are a student whose family lives nearby, go home and recover there.
- Stay home – or in your residence hall room, apartment or place of residence – at all times unless you need to go out to seek medical care. Staying away from others while you are sick can keep them from getting sick too. If you are a student, ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food, medications and supplies if needed.
- Stay in a separate room and avoid contact with others. If someone is caring for you, wear a mask, if one is available and tolerable, when that person is in the room.
- If practicable in your living situation, designate one bathroom for those who are ill and another for those who are well. Wash down bathroom surfaces, door knobs and other surfaces where virus might accumulate.
- Remain at home until you are well. Specifically, do not return to class or to work and do not resume normal activities for at least 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms, particularly a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (chills, a warm feel to the touch, a flushed appearance, or sweating). The 24-hour symptom-free period should be measured without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Immediately dispose of the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your arm rather than your hand to cover your cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, and electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from becoming dehydrated.
- People at higher risk for flu complications should be particularly sure to seek medical care if they become ill with flu-like symptoms. These include children under age 5, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people age 65 years and older.
- Go for medical care right away if you are having difficulty breathing or are getting worse.
- If you are a student, immediately contact your professors by phone or e-mail and make arrangements with them to make up missed work. Faculty members are very willing to work with you once they know you are ill.
For specific information on how to take care of someone who is sick, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance_homecare.htm.
For more information about flu, visit: http://www.flu.gov.