The Washington Times-Herald

Breaking News

January 11, 2013

Influenza A widespread, peaking early

Hospitals restricting visitors

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

If someone in the household comes down with the flu, the Red Cross suggests designating one person Ð who’s not at high risk for infection Ð as the caregiver and having remaining household members avoid contact to prevent spreading the disease to the whole family. They also recommend a designated sick room and bathroom if possible. Each person should have his or her own personal items, such as drinking glass, wash cloth and towel and avoid sharing.

Other tips include:

* Make sure the sick person stays home and rests until 24 hours after fever is gone.

* Supply the sick room with tissues, a trash can lined with plastic trash bag, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, a cooler or pitcher with ice, drinks, thermometer, a cup with straw or a squeeze bottle for drinking, a humidifier if possible, and a face mask.

* Give plenty of fluids throughout the illness.

* Treat fever and cough with over-the-counter medicines. (Children should never be given aspirin.)

* Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, phones, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, counters, toys, and other commonly touched surfaces.

* Wash dishes using very hot water.

* Use very hot water and detergent to wash clothes, dry on a hot setting, and wash hands after handling dirty laundry.

* Wear disposable gloves when in contact with body fluids.

* If the sick person is pregnant, has asthma or another medical condition that puts her or him at higher risk for complications, they may need to be examined by a doctor and potentially need an antiviral medication.

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