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Caring for Someone Sick at Home

Make a Separate Sick Room, if You Can

This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated. For updated information on the current flu season, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.

December 5, 2009, 6:00 AM ET

sick woman in bedKeeping the person with flu in a separate sick room can help keep others in the family from getting the flu.

Take These Steps to Create a Separate Sick Room:

  • Try to give the sick person their own room. If there is more than one sick person, they can share the sick room if needed.
  • If you have more than one bathroom, have sick people use one bathroom and well people use the other one.
  • Give each sick person their own drinking glass, washcloth, and towel.

Have These Items in the Sick Room

  • Tissues
  • Trash can with lid and lined with a plastic trash bag
  • Alcohol-based hand rub
  • illustration of sick roomCooler or pitcher with ice and drinks
  • Cup with straw or squeeze bottle to help with drinking
  • Thermometer
  • Humidifier (A machine that puts tiny drops of water into the air. This extra moisture can make it easier for the sick person to breathe.)
  • Facemasks (Sick people should wear a facemask if available when they leave the sick room or are around other people.)

About Medicines in the Sick Room

  • Store all medicines out of reach of children. If you have no young children in the home, place medicines for adults in the sick room.
  • Write down medicine dose and when doses are needed.
 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
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    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
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