Home Care Guidance for Adult Patients with Flu
You will probably be sick for several days with fever and respiratory symptoms.
Take Medications as Prescribed:
- Take all of the antiviral medication (if prescribed) as directed.
- Call Student Health Services if you experience any side effects; i.e. nausea, vomiting, rash, or unusual behavior.
- Take medications for symptom relief as needed for fever and pain such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), and cough medicine. Do not take more than 4000 mg. acetaminophen per day (2 extra-strength or 3 regular strength tablets four times daily) or more than 2400 mg ibuprofen (3 200 mg tablets four times daily). These medicines do not need to be taken regularly if your symptoms improve.
- Do not take aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or products that contain aspirin if you are 18 years old or younger.
- Consider taking a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed®) for nasal congestion; make sure to read the package for any medical conditions for which this type of medication is inadvisable.
- Consider an over-the-counter cough medication with dextromethorphan (“DM”), although DM may interact with certain medications used to treat depression.
- An expectorant with guaifenesin may help to thin phlegm to make it easier to cough out.
Seek Emergency Care
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Follow These Home Care Recommendations:
- Continue to cover your cough and wash your hands often to prevent spreading influenza to others.
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medication (e.g., acetaminophen [Tylenol], ibuprofen [Advil], aspirin), except to get medical care.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks) to keep from being dehydrated.
- Dishes can be done in dishwasher or with hot soapy water.
- Throw away tissues and other disposable items used by the sick person. Wash your hands after touching used tissues and similar waste.
- Have everyone in the household wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- 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.
Returning to Class
- Contact your professors to let them know you are ill and are not attending class. Ask for accommodations to help make up for late work.
- Do not return to class until your fever is gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever/pain reducing medication
- Do not contact Student Health Services for a class excuse note. (see the Medical Excuse Policy)
Student Health Services
After Hours Advice Nurse:
858-225-3105 after 4:30 pm, Mon. - Fri., weekends and SDSU holidays