Flu Treatment at Home
If you have a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms (such as headache, fever, chills, cough, chest pain, sore throat, muscle aches, weakness, exhaustion) that include any of the following symptoms, you should contact your physician or go to a Riverside Emergency Room right away:
- Fever for more than four to five days
- Difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Onset of confusion or seizures
- Skin color changes (lips and hands)
- Persistent vomiting. Vomiting is usually present in young children and elderly persons with influenza infection.
If you have a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms (for example, headache, fever, chills, cough, chest pain, sore throat, muscle aches, weakness, exhaustion) not accompanied by the above mentioned symptoms you should generally do the following :
- Remain at home until all symptoms have resolved.
- Take medication as needed to relieve the symptoms of the flu.
- Never give aspirin to children or teens who have flu-like symptoms (and particularly fever) without first speaking to your doctor. Giving aspirin to children and teens who have influenza can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome.
- Drink lots of fluids (water and other nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages).
- Get plenty of bed rest.
- Do not smoke.
- Restrict visitors.
If you live alone, are a single parent of young children, or are the sole caregiver for a frail or disabled adult, the following are recommended:
- Have enough fluids (water, juice, soup) available to last for a week.
- Have enough basic household items (for example, tissues) to last for one to two weeks.
- Make sure you have a thermometer and know how to use it.
- Have enough acetaminophen (such as Tylenol but there are many other brands) to last a week
- Make advance arrangements with someone you can call for help if you become ill
- Pre-arrange child care if you are required to work and their school or day care is closed because of the influenza pandemic; discuss this possibility with your employer and your children.
How to prevent the additional spread of the flu:
- Wash your hands often with warm soap and water, scrubbing for 15 to 20 seconds.
- If you enter or are in the home of someone who may have influenza, wash your hands when you enter, after any patient contact and before you leave the home.
- Anyone with the flu should should cover their mouths and noses with tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used tissues immediately after use, and wash hands after using tissues.
- Family members should wash hands after any contact with the patient.
- Do not share eating utensils or drinks.
- Do not rub eyes, and do not touch nose or mouth.
- Wash hands or use waterless hand sanitizer after shaking hands with anyone.