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Miles Stair's SURVIVAL
INDEX & JET STREAM
Steps to Lessen the Spread of Flu in
Steps to Lessen the Spread of Flu in the
When providing care to a household member who is sick
with influenza, the most important ways to protect
yourself and others who are not sick are to:
* Photo of child washing handskeep 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
* have everyone in the household clean their hands
often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand
* 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 (Tamiflur) or zanamivir
(Relenzar) to prevent the flu.
Placement of the sick person
* Keep the sick person in a room separate from the
common areas of the house. (For example, a spare
bedroom with its own bathroom, if that's possible.)
Keep the sickroom door closed.
* 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 (at the current time, CDC
believes that this virus has the same properties in
terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal
flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious
from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7
days after they get sick. Children, especially younger
children, might potentially be contagious for longer
* 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
* 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,
* 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.
If you are the caregiver
* Avoid being face-to-face with the sick person.
* When holding small children who are sick, place their
chin on your shoulder so that they will not cough in
* Clean your hands with soap and water or use an
alcohol-based hand rub after you touch the sick person
or handle used tissues, or laundry.
* Caregivers might catch flu from the person they are
caring for and then the caregiver might be able to
spread the flu to others before the caregiver shows
symptoms. Therefore, the caregiver should wear a mask
when they leave their home to keep from spreading flu
to others in case they are in the early stages of
* Talk to your health care provider about taking
antiviral medication to prevent the caregiver from
getting the flu.
* Monitor yourself and household members for flu
symptoms and contact a telephone hotline or health care
provider if symptoms occur.
Using Facemasks or Respirators
* Avoid close contact (less than about 6 feet away)
with the sick person as much as possible.
* If you must have close contact with the sick person
(for example, hold a sick infant), spend the least
amount of time possible in close contact and try to
wear a facemask (for example, surgical mask) or N95
* An N95 respirator that fits snugly on your face can
filter out small particles that can be inhaled around
the edges of a facemask, but compared with a facemask
it is harder to breathe through an N95 mask for long
periods of time. More information on facemasks and
respirators can be found at www. cdc. gov/h1n1flu/
* Facemasks and respirators may be purchased at a
pharmacy, building supply or hardware store.
* Wear an N95 respirator if you help a sick person with
respiratory treatments using a nebulizer or inhaler, as
directed by their doctor. Respiratory treatments should
be performed in a separate room away from common areas
of the house when at all possible.
* Used facemasks and N95 respirators should be taken
off and placed immediately in the regular trash so they
don't touch anything else.
* Avoid re-using disposable facemasks and N95
respirators if possible. If a reusable fabric facemask
is used, it should be laundered with normal laundry
detergent and tumble-dried in a hot dryer.
* After you take off a facemask or N95 respirator,
clean your hands with soap and water or an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Household Cleaning, Laundry, and Waste
* Throw away tissues and other disposable items used by
the sick person in the trash. Wash your hands after
touching used tissues and similar waste.
* Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in
the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping
them down with a household disinfectant according to
directions on the product label.
* Linens, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to
those who are sick do not need to be cleaned
separately, but importantly these items should not be
shared without washing thoroughly first.
* Wash linens (such as bed sheets and towels) by using
household laundry soap and tumble dry on a hot setting.
Avoid "hugging" laundry prior to washing it to prevent
contaminating yourself. Clean your hands with soap and
water or alcohol-based hand rub right after handling
* Eating utensils should be washed either in a
dishwasher or by hand with water and soap.