When someone is sick with the flu, health officials stress that it's important to both help that person feel better and avoid getting sick yourself.
There are several ways to do that, but they boil down to some simple tips: keep the sick person separated from the rest of the household, make sure that person takes medications and is improving, and wash up — hands, dishes, sheets, towels and household surfaces.
Start by keeping the sick person away from other people as much as possible, especially those who are at high risk of complications from the flu, according to the Department of Health and Human Services flu website, flu.gov.
Laundry and dishes can go into your regular loads. But be sure to clean any rooms or household items — such as phones, door knobs or toys — used by the sick person with an approved household disinfectant.
You should also take extra care if you're caring for a child or a senior who has the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control provides detailed guidelines about how to care for people who are sick to make sure they feel better and you don't get sick, too.
Make a Sick Room
- Make a Sick Room, if You Can
- Follow the Sick Room Rules
- How to Clean the Sick Room
- Tips for Caregivers
- Tips to Prevent Fluid Loss (Dehydration)
- Check for Fluid Loss
- When to Get Medical Help for Fluid Loss
Flu season is here, with cases widespread in Virginia, but it's not too late to get a flu shot or nasal spray. Check out these previous stories:
Flu Season Is Here, But It's Not Too Late To Vaccinate: See where to get a flu shot near you.
Flu Season: How To Know If That's What You've Got: One in five Americans gets the flu, and here's how to know whether you've got it.
Think You Have The Flu? Here's The Best Treatment Plan: See how to treat the flu with and without medications.
For more information about influenza, its symptoms, prevention and treatment, or cases reported, you can visit flu.gov, the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, or the District of Columbia Department of Health.