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Friday, August 7, 2009

How long to stay home with the flu?

H1N1 Swine Flu update from the CDC: This is important information for all citizens about how long to stay at home with a fever, diagnosed as swine flu or not, as we go into our flu season. Staying at home when sick will help prevent the spread of this pandemic flu (it is a novel/new virus, humans have no immunity to it, and it spreads easily).

The exclusion period: From the onset of flu-like illness, stay at home (and avoid close contact with others) for 24 hours AFTER your fever returns to normal, after you have stopped taking fever reducing medications.

"Sick individuals should stay at home until the end of the exclusion period, to the extent possible, except when necessary to seek required medical care. Sick individuals should avoid contact with others. Keeping people with a fever at home may reduce the number of people who get infected, since elevated temperature is associated with increased shedding of influenza virus. CDC recommends this exclusion period regardless of whether or not antiviral medications are used. People on antiviral treatment may shed influenza viruses that are resistant to antiviral medications."