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How to Care for Someone at Home Who Has H1N1 (Swine) Flu

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Suggestions from Montefiore Medical Center on How to Prevent Other Household Members from Getting Sick During This Flu Season

NEW YORK, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Montefiore Medical Center wants you to have the latest information on influenza (flu) so you can best protect yourself and your family. If you are taking care of someone at home who has H1N1 (swine) flu, it is important for you to prevent other people in the house from getting sick, according to Gary Kalkut, MD, MPH, Senior Vice-President, Chief Medical Officer of Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Kalkut and his colleagues at Montefiore offer the following information and advice on preventing illness during this flu season.

One of the easiest ways people can protect themselves, their family, and others from getting sick is to clean their hands. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub to prevent getting sick:

Who can take care of someone with the flu?

Caring for someone with the flu

Managing coughing and sneezing

Using medications

If someone already has flu symptoms, over-the-counter cold and flu medications may help. These medications lessen some symptoms such as cough and congestion. Over-the-counter medications may help the sick person to feel better. A sick person can still make others sick up to 24 hours after their symptoms stop and they have stopped taking medication.

Antiviral medicines may help with flu symptoms, but you will need a prescription. Most people with the flu do not need these antiviral drugs to get better. Some people at higher risk for severe flu complications might benefit from antiviral medications.

Influenza infections can lead to, or occur with, bacterial infections. Some people may need to take an antibiotic. More severe illness or illness that seems to get better, but then gets worse again, may be a sign that a person has a bacterial infection. Check with your health care provider if you have concerns.

-- Especially after coughing and sneezing. -- After every contact with the sick person. -- Even after handling the sick person's room or bathroom or their dirty laundry.

SOURCE Montefiore Medical Center
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