What to do when the flu hits home

A patient measures pills out into his hand.

Each year the flu may not only impact you, but also the people around you. Your first line of defense is to get a flu shot, which may reduce your risk of flu illness.

Flu treatment

If you or a loved one experience flu symptoms such as a fever, cough or sore throat, visit your doctor or urgent care clinic right away. Get plenty of rest and take the following measures for recovery:

  • Treat fever and cough with over-the-counter medicine. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to relieve your symptoms.
  • Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration).
  • Avoid direct contact with household members to help prevent others from getting sick.

To help prevent spreading the flu:

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Wipe down doorknobs, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, phones and toys.
  • Clean bed linens and laundry with normal laundry soap, and dry on a hot setting. Be sure to hold all dirty laundry away from your face and body.