Baton Rouge Clinic Health Library
Care, Prevention, and Further Intervention of Influenza
Published: 09, 2009
Home care recommendations
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.)
- Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick.
- Drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from being dehydrated
- Dishes can be done in dishwasher or with hot soapy water.
- 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.
- Have everyone in the household wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- The flu is considered potentially contagious as long as flu symptoms are present and possibly for up to 7 days following the start of illness
What to expect and what to do if you have Influenza
- You will probably be sick for several days with fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Take any prescribed Medications until completion
- If prescribed, take all of the antiviral medication as directed
- Continue to cover your cough and wash your hands often, even if taking antiviral medications, to prevent spreading influenza to others
- Call the office if you experience any side effects; i.e. nausea, vomiting, rash, or unusual behavior
- Take medications for symptom relief as needed for fever and pain such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin ®), and cough medicine. These medicines do not need to be taken regularly if your symptoms improve
- Do not give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or products that contain aspirin (e.g. bismuth subsalicylate – Pepto Bismol) to children or teenagers 18 years old or younger
Contact a physician if you have any of the following:
- Shortness of breath while resting or doing little
- Difficult or painful breathing
- Coughing up sputum or phlegm
- Chest pain
- Fever for 3 to 4 days without improvement
- Feeling better and then suddenly having a high fever or becoming ill again
- Extreme drowsiness and/or difficulty awakening
- Disorientation or confusion
- Severe earache
- Sudden inability to function in a normally independent elderly person
- Constant vomiting
The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC, offers this information as a courtesy service. Please remember that medical knowledge is always evolving and we cannot represent that any of our information is absolutely current. Please consult a physician before taking any medical action based on information gathered from this or any website.