Caring For Family Members Infected With H1N1 Flu
Tips and guidelines to follow in order to stay healthy when caring for a sick family memberCaring for a family member infected with H1N1 Flu can be challenging, especially when trying to stay healthy, however there are some important guidelines to follow to help keep the caregiver healthy.
"The easiest way the H1N1 virus spreads from person to person is though respiratory droplets from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person" says Richard J. Scott, M.D. senior vice president of clinical effectiveness and medical affairs for Meridian Health. "The transmission usually takes place when droplets are propelled on the mouth or nose others, or through touching respiratory droplets on an object and then touching their own mouth or nose."
According to the CDC, those with H1N1 flu being cared for at home should:
Check with their health care provider about any special care they might need if they are pregnant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema Check with their health care provider about whether they should take antiviral medications Keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick. Do not go to work or school while ill Stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone, except to seek medical care or for other necessities. (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Get plenty of rest Drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from being dehydrated Cover coughs and sneezes. Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Wear a facemask - if available and tolerable - when sharing common spaces with other household members to help prevent spreading the virus to others. This is especially important if other household members are at high risk for complications from influenza. For further information on the H1N1 virus or the seasonal flu, please visit meridianhealth.com/H1N1 or flu.gov.
Meridian Health is a family of not-for-profit health care organizations comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and occupational health centers located throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties.