I've caught the flu, now what do I do so my family doesn't?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Robert Martin
  • 75th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
One of the biggest concerns during the flu season is passing it on to others. We're all aware of prevention -- coughing into our sleeves, staying home when contagious and using hand sanitizer. But what about everybody at home while I'm laid up sick and recovering?

Follow the five easy steps of the MEDIC philosophy and see how easy it is to keep your family healthy.

Ask your health care provider if household contacts of the sick person -- particularly those contacts who may be pregnant or have chronic health conditions -- should take antiviral medications.

All persons in the household should clean their hands with soap and water frequently, including after every contact with the sick person or the person's room or bathroom.

Have only one adult take care of the sick family member. This keeps the risk at a minimum for multiple people becoming sick as well.

Keep the sick person away from other people as much as possible, especially those at high risk for complications from influenza.

Make sure the entire family understands the plan and what they should or shouldn't do. Don't forget that the sick family member should share the responsibility and not spread it to other family members. They need to stay in their dedicated bedroom, cover their coughs, clean their hands with soap and water and properly dispose of used tissues.

Following these five easy steps can go a long way to keeping your family healthy while you're recovering at home.

Remember, prevention is definitely the way to go!

Davis County Health Department has plenty of Novel H1N1 vaccinations, and it is offering vaccinations to all county residents at no charge. The department is currently back-ordered for the seasonal flu vaccine but a shipment is expected next week.

The 75th Medical Group here at Hill Air Force Base still has the seasonal influenza vaccine available to all beneficiaries. We also have a limited supply of H1N1 vaccine available to TriCare beneficiaries who meet the following criteria:

· Infants from 6 months to 2 years old
· Patients older than 2 years old who meet the high risk patient definition.

Consult your provider if you are at higher risk for complications.

For more information, feel free to contact the 75th Medical Group Public Health Office at (801) 777-4514.

The CDC contributed material to this article.