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What Should You Do If Someone Close To You Has The Flu?

Flickr, mcfarlandmo

This is a question a lot more people are asking today than they were asking last week. Flu season is here and if you haven’t gotten a flu shot, you really need to. What if it’s too late and someone at your home or in your office has already gotten the flu and they’ve been or are going to be around you?

The basic rules of prevention apply. That means a lot of hand washing. That includes all members of the household including the sick person. Another step that the official U.S. Government website suggests is limiting exposure to the sick person. That might mean a quarantine of sorts where the individual who has the flu is housed in a “sick room”. Where access is limited. That doesn’t mean shut them away and forget about them until they get better or die, it means limit contact.

It’s also a good idea to contact your doctor to see if antiviral medications can be prescribed for healthy members of the family. This might prevent or lessen the severity of the illness should it have the opportunity to spread. It is also a good idea to make sure your home has good ventilation and that the sick person’s tissues, bed linens, eating utensils and other personal contact items are cleaned and disposed of properly.

Around the work place, isolating the sick can be a little more difficult. Some people simply refuse to stay home when they are sick. That will result in the flu being passed around the entire office unless certain precautions are taken. While it might not be possible to sequester an infected coworker in an office, the concept of cleanliness can certainly be stepped up. Soap for hand washing, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are mandatory. If your office doesn’t have these items on hand, show your supervisor this story and request that they get these supplies immediately.

The flu is serious business. Not only does it cost days of productivity but it can be deadly. If you take its prevention seriously you can certainly minimize the effects of the seasonal malady that we might never contain but hopefully can control.

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