Swine Flu: Taking Care of a Family Member
H1N1 influenza virus is a new type of flu virus and as most people do not have resistance to it, it spreads rapidly. It is important to know how to care for a sick person with flu like illness to prevent swine flu spread and seek prompt treatment.
Make a sick room
- If possible make a separate sick room at home.
- If there two or more people are down with flu like illness they can share the sick room if needed.
- If possible have a separate bathroom for use by sick people.
- The sick person should be given a separate drinking glass, washcloth, and towel.
Things needed in the Sick Room
- Waste bin with lid. It must be lined with a plastic trash bag for timely disposal.
- Hand rub which contains alcohol
- Flask with ice and drinks
- Humidifier (as added moisture can make breathing easier for the sick person)
- Facemasks-- Sick people must be advised to wear a facemask if available if other people are there in the room or they want to leave the sick room. If you don’t have a facemask, ask the sick person to use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes.
- Keep all the medicines needed by the sick person in the sick room.
Caring for the Sick
While caring for the sick it is equally important to protect other family members from getting the flu.
- The sick person must be advised to wear a facemask if available when they leave the sick room. If you don’t have a facemask, ask the sick person to use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes.
- Healthy people other than the caregiver should avoid entering the sick room. Only one person should act as a caregiver. Pregnant women or people with certain chronic health problems should not become caregiver for the sick.
- Visitors must not be allowed in the sick room. If visitors enter the sick room a distance of at least 6 feet from the sick person should be maintained.
- Sick person must be advised to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. The used tissue must be disposed in the trash bin immediately.
- Keep the room well ventilated.
Tips to Clean the Sick Room
- Cleaning Hard Surfaces: The virus in the droplets released when a person coughs or sneezes can settle on the hard surface-- on which the virus can survive for about 24 hours. Clean surfaces such as doorknobs, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, counters, phones, and toys. Soap and water or any common household cleaners that kill germs may be used to clean these surfaces.
- Cleaning Bed Linens and clothes: Bed sheets, towels and other clothes of the sick person can be washed with normal laundry soap and dried. Keep the dirty laundry away from your face and body. A sick person’s clothes may be washed with other people’s laundry.
- Cleaning utensils: A sick person’s utensils can be washed with normal dish soap and water along with other people’s dishes.
Care of the Caregiver
When caring for person with swine flu follow the following tips;
- Avoid coming face to face with the sick person. Spend as littl...
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 08, 2011
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