Health Services
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY HEALTHY
  • Stay informed but don't buy into rumors. It only causes panic.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
    • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Develop a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies.

WHEN SOMEONE IS ILL IN YOUR HOME
  • Keep the sick person away from other people as much as possible (see “placement of the sick person at home”)
  • Remind the sick person to cover their coughs, and clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after coughing and/or sneezing.
  • Have everyone in the household clean their hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if household contacts of the sick person—particularly those contacts who may have chronic health conditions—should take antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) or zanamivir (Relenza®) to prevent the flu.

PLACEMENT OF THE SICK PERSON
  • Unless necessary for medical care, persons with the flu should not leave the home when they have a fever or during the time that they are most likely to spread their infection to others (7 days after onset of symptoms in adults. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days).
  • If persons with the flu need to leave the home (for example, for medical care), they should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and wear a loose-fitting (surgical) mask if available.
  • Have the sick person wear a surgical mask if they need to be in a common area of the house near other persons.
  • If possible, sick persons should use a separate bathroom. This bathroom should be cleaned daily with household disinfectant (see below).

PROTECT OTHER PERSONS IN THE HOME
  • The sick person should not have visitors other than caregivers. A phone call is safer than a visit.
  • If possible, have only one adult in the home take care of the sick person.
  • Avoid having pregnant women care 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 person’s room or 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.
  • If possible, consideration should be given to maintaining good ventilation in shared household areas (e.g., keeping windows open in restrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc.).
  • Antivirals can be used to prevent the flu, so check with your healthcare provider to see if some persons in the home should use antiviral medications.