Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.

  • The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
  • The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
  • For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.

Template letter or E-mail: If You Are Not Feeling Well

November 4, 2009, 7:00 PM ET

  • Coordinate efforts with your local health department before distributing this letter or e-mail communication to ensure that all information is timely, relevant, and accurate.
  • This template can be customized and used as an announcement via e-mail, Web site, newsletter, or other creative media to reach members, service recipients and staff.
  • Consider customizing this letter by using your organization’s stationery or e-mail template, inserting a name and contact information of someone community members can reach for flu questions, and adding the signature line of the president, executive director, clergy, etc.

If you or a family member is not feeling well …

  • Watch carefully for signs and symptoms of flu. Some children may not be able to tell you about their symptoms, which can delay your response to their illness. Symptoms of flu can include all or some of the following: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Not everyone with flu will have a fever.
  • Watch for emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention. These warning signs include one or more of the following:
    • In children
      • Fast breathing, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or stopping breathing
      • Bluish, purplish, or gray skin color especially around the lips, inside the mouth, or around the nails
      • Not drinking enough fluids; refusing to drink
      • Not waking up or not interacting
      • Being irritable (a child may not want to be held or cannot be consoled)
      • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
      • Fever with a rash
    • In adults
      • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
      • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
      • Sudden dizziness
      • Confusion
      • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Stay home. The person sick with the flu should stay homeuntil at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever without the need for fever-reducing medicine. Children and teenagers should not be given aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid); this can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks clear fluids (such as water, broth, or sports drinks) to prevent dehydration. For infants, use an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte®.
  • If the sick person is in a high risk group, contact a doctor to discuss the need for antiviral medicines. This is important because treatment with antiviral medicines that fight the flu should be started as early as possible. They work best when started within the first 2 days of getting sick.
  • Keep the sick person in a separate room (a sick room) in the house as much as possible to limit contact with household members who are not sick. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for the sick person. This person should not be at high risk for complications from the flu.

To protect other family members …

  • Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu according to CDC recommendations.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your elbow or shoulder if a tissue is not available. Throw tissues away right after use.
  • Make sure hands are washed often, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand rub can be used. Help young children wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water (long enough to sing “The Happy Birthday Song” twice).
  • Clean surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. Wipe these surfaces with a household disinfectant, following the directions on the product label. Additional disinfection of these surfaces beyond routine cleaning is not recommended.
  • Keep the sick person in a separate room (a sick room) in the house as much as possible to limit contact with household members who are not sick. Consider designating a single person as the main caregiver for the sick person.
  • Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu according to CDC recommendations.
 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #