If You Are Sick with the Flu

If you are sick with the flu, below are some tips on how to take care of yourself and to keep others healthy:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of flu. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way. 
  • Sick people should stay at home or in their residence, except to go to the health care provider’s office. 
  • Stay in a separate room if possible and avoid contact with others. If someone is caring for you, wear a mask, if available and tolerable, when they are in the room. 
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, and electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from becoming dehydrated. 
  • Contact a health care provider if you are at higher risk for complications from flu for treatment. People at higher risk for flu complications include children under the age of 5 years, pregnant women, people of any age who have chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people age 65 years and older. 
  • Contact a healthcare provider [or go to the local health services clinic] right away if you are having difficulty breathing or are getting worse.
For specific information on how to take care of someone who is sick, visit: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance_homecare.htm 

For more information about flu, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.flu.gov.