ARTICLES / General / Caring
for Someone with the Flu /
Take these additional steps to
protect yourself and people in your home from
getting the flu.
You and all healthy people in the house should
clean their hands with soap and water or an
alcohol-based hand rub frequently, including after
every contact with the sick person, the sick
person’s room or bathroom, or items used or touched
by the sick person.
Remind the sick person to cover coughs and clean
his or her hands with soap and water or an
alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after
coughing or sneezing.
Avoid being face-to-face with the sick person
and, if possible, have only one adult in the home
take care of the sick person. People at increased
risk of severe illness from flu should not care for
the sick person.
Hold small children who are sick with their chin
on your shoulder so that they will not cough in your
Ask your healthcare provider if well people in
your home—particularly those contacts who are at
increased risk of severe illness—should take
antiviral medications to prevent getting the flu.
Maintain good ventilation in shared household
areas (keep windows open in restrooms, kitchen,
Follow proper cleaning and disposal
Throw the sick person’s tissues
and other used disposable items in the trash.
Keep surfaces clean (especially
bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, doorknobs,
phones, and children’s toys) by wiping them down
with an approved household disinfectant.
Clean linens, eating utensils,
and dishes used by the sick person thoroughly before
reusing. You do not need to wash items separately.
Wash linens (such as bed sheets
and towels) with laundry soap and tumble dry on a
hot setting. Avoid “hugging” laundry to your body
before washing it to prevent contaminating yourself.
Provided by Flu.gov