Doctors' tips to quarantine the flu in your home

As flu numbers skyrocket nationwide the chance gets more and more likely that many families will be stuck with at least one sick person in the house, so then what?

Lake Mary Dr. Ray Lebeda said the illness is unfortunately not a short one; generally lasting about a week for most patients. However, he said that doesn’t mean everyone else in the house has to get sick too.

"Isolation is the best thing,” said Dr. Lebeda.

He recommends getting that person into their bed and keeping them there to rest the flu off. From there you should take care of them and tend to them, but try to keep them separate from the rest of the family.

Lebeda said when someone’s in the room with them, it’s not a bad idea to either have the patient or the caregiver wear a disposable mask to help keep the germs from being breathed in. 

From there, it’s all about cleaning.  Dr. Lebeda said to sanitize surfaces in the house with disinfectant or bleach based cleaners to help clean away the flu germs.

"I wouldn't go crazy,” he said, “just more of the things that person touched a lot."

That includes door handles, knobs, sink and shower mechanisms, and don’t forget the TV remote.
He then highly recommends everyone else in the house engage in a lot of hand sanitizing.  As for the flu patient, the main action is to rest.

Dr. Kristin Woodward who practices in the Denver, CO area listed 7 “don’ts” for those fighting the flu to help them get back on their feet as fast as possible:

  • Don’t wait – call a doctor and get treated right away
  • Don’t exercise – it can lead to dehydration
  • Don’t drink alcohol – sorry
  • Don’t take cold showers or ice baths – unlike old advice to do so, she said that can actually make a fever worse
  • Don’t give kids aspirin – it can cause Reye’s Syndrome. Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen are better options
  • Don’t take cough medicine – again, it can be harmful for kids with the flu
  • Don’t go out – just rest up, take your medicine, and don’t spread that illness