10 Simple Tips to Prevent Spreading the Flu in Your Tiny Apartment
Flu season has officially begun, folks. That high fever, coughing, sniffling, and fatigue are not manifestations of the common cold. Nope. It’s something far more serious.
Seasonal flu usually debuts in the fall and peaks shortly after the new year. We're all susceptible to it and need to take precautions to prevent spreading the flu. This is particularly important if you have children, seniors, or someone with a chronic health condition, due to having weaker immune systems. So if your apartment is home to multiple generations, get ready!
If someone in your apartment comes down with the flu, it’s important to have a plan of attack. As much as you’d like to lock them away for a week (in the nicest way possible), someone has to show the ailing one a little TLC. Here are a few things you can do to prevent those yucky germs from spreading throughout your small space.
1. Make sure the sick person is quarantined
He or she should be taking all medications and following doctor’s orders.
2. Consider getting the flu vaccine
Your job or school may offer them free of charge. You can also inquire with your doctor’s office or local pharmacy.
3. Wash your hands regularly
Use soap and water, especially after having contact with the sick person. At the very least, keep travel size bottles of hand sanitizer in each room.
4. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
Everyone – sick or not – should cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Other than that, avoid unnecessarily touching your mouth, eyes, and nose as these are the areas in which germs most commonly enter the body.
5. Throw tissues away ASAP
Throw out tissues and napkins as soon as possible to prevent the spread of germs. Piling them up on the nightstand won’t help.
6. Get antiviral medication if needed
If you’re caring for someone with the flu, talk to your doctor about available antiviral medications.
7. Clean the bathroom daily while someone in the house is sick
If you happen to have more than one bathroom, dedicate one to the sick person and clean it daily to keep germs from spreading.
8. Keep the apartment ventilated
Open windows to keep the apartment well ventilated if it's not too cold outside.
9. Wipe down surfaces regularly
Clean tabletops, doorknobs, phones and toys with a good disinfectant multiple times each day.
10. Wash and distance yourself from linens
When washing bed linens, avoid “hugging” them to your body as this will lead to contamination. Wash with hot water.
It can take up to two weeks to completely get over the flu. You can be infected, not show any symptoms, and still pass it on to someone else. Visit Flu.gov and CDC.gov for more official tips and advice regarding how to prevent spreading the flu this season.