Sick with swine flu.indd
If you are Sick with Suspected or Conﬁrmed Swine Flu.
• Check with your healthcare provider about any special care you might need if you are preg-
nant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema.
• Check with your healthcare provider about whether you should take (or continue) antiviral
• Stay home for seven days after the start of illness and until fever is gone.
• Drink clear ﬂuids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep
• Cover your coughs and sneezes. Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based
hand rub often and especially after using tissues and after coughing or sneezing into hands.
• Avoid close contact with others. Do not go to work or school while ill.
• Be watchful for emergency warning signs (see below) that might indicate you need to seek
When to Seek Emergency Medical Care
Get medical care right away if the sick person at home:• has difﬁculty breathing or chest pain
• has purple or blue discoloration of the lips
• is vomiting and unable to keep liquids down
• has signs of dehydration such as dizziness when standing, absence of urination, or in
• has seizures (for example, uncontrolled convulsions)
• is less responsive than normal or becomes confused
We’re here for you when you need us.
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Medications to Help Lessen Symptoms of the Flu
Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for correct, safe use of medications
Antiviral medications can sometimes help lessen inﬂuenza symptoms, but require a prescription.
Most people do not need these antiviral drugs to fully recover from the ﬂu. However, persons at high-
er risk for severe ﬂu complications or those with severe ﬂu illness who require hospitalization might
beneﬁt from antiviral medications. Antiviral medications are available for persons 1 year of age and
older. Ask your healthcare provider whether you need antiviral medication.
Inﬂuenza infections can lead to or occur with bacterial infections. Therefore, some people will also
need to take antibiotics. More severe or prolonged illness or illness that seems to get better, but then
gets worse again may be an indication that a person has a bacterial infection. Check with your health-
give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) to children or teenagers who have the ﬂu; this
can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s Syndrome. For more information about Reye’s Syn-
drome, visit the National Institute of Health website at www.ninds.nih.gov.
• Check ingredient labels on over-the-counter cold and ﬂu medications to see if they contain
• Teenagers with the ﬂu can take medicines without
aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®), to relieve symptoms.
• Children younger than 2 years of age should not be given over-the-counter cold medications
without ﬁrst speaking with a healthcare provider.
• The safest care for ﬂu symptoms in children younger than 2 years of age is using a cool-mist
humidiﬁer and a suction bulb to help clear away mucus.
• Fevers and aches can be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®,
Motrin®, Nuprin®) or nonsteroidal anti-inﬂammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Examples of these
• Over-the-counter cold and ﬂu medications used according to the package instructions may
help lessen some symptoms such as cough and congestion. These medications will not make
• Check the ingredients on the package label to see if the medication already contains acetamino-
phen or ibuprofen before taking additional doses of these medications. Don’t double dose!
Patients with kidney disease or stomach problems should check with their health care provider
Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are taking other over-the-counter
or prescription medications not related to the ﬂu. For more information on products
for treating ﬂu symptoms, see the FDA website:
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