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How to prevent the flu after exposure and avoid infecting your household. Easy tips and tricks that kept the flu contained to only 1 family member.
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It happened quick. My husband said he was not feeling well and I immediately thought he had a case of the man flu (sorry but it’s true). Well within about 5 hours, I knew it was something more serious. Fast forward 24 hours and we had a confirmed case of the flu. Not Man Flu, actual flu. I had to prevent spreading the flu in my house and fast.
Cue the panic button. We have a 7 week old and a 4 year old at home. I knew that I could not get sick because there would be no one to care for the kids. I also did not want any of my kids to get it but I was particularly concerned about our infant.
Here are some tips on what I did to prevent the flu after exposure, once it infiltrated our house. Happy to report that only my husband got it (Sorry Hubs) and we have passed the 10 day mark so I think I am pretty safe in saying that the rest of us are well.
Prevent the Flu After Exposure
Here are some simple steps to prevent the flu after exposure to someone in your family that is infected.
As soon as the first symptoms started I went upstairs with the kids and kept my husband in our room. The symptoms had a very sudden onset so it was pretty easy to identify that he was sick and needed to be quarantined. Keep the person in their room and give them a designated bathroom if possible. Stay away and do not engage that person! If you have to take them something, try and have them wear a mask or you can wear one to minimize the airborne particles floating around (this is primarily how flu spreads).
2.Tamiflu and Flu Shots
I am only going to talk about Tamiflu because I personally never get the flu shot. My poor husband actually tried to get his flu shot but something was going on with our insurance and so he planned to go back but never did and then he got the flu. Back to Tamiflu, the miracle drug. As soon as I was pretty sure that he had the flu, we packed up in the car and went to the Dr. This was the closest contact that I had with him after he became symptomatic and I may or may not have held my breath the majority of the drive to the Dr. office. He started Tamiflu within 24 hours of exhibiting symptoms.
Tamiflu helps to reduce the flu victim’s symptoms but equally important it may help to reduce the time that you shed the virus (and potentially infect your poor family). We also got a prescription for me and my 4 year old in order to help us prevent the flu after exposure. The infant was too young for the drug so I was praying that if none of the rest of us got it, he would not either.
I have heard things about the drug making people feel sick to their stomach. We did not experience this but I did give my daughter a gummy probiotic at the suggestion of her pediatrician to help with any tummy troubles. The medicine did not taste good but we got through it.
3.Good Hand Hygiene
At the first sign of illness, I started washing my hands like a crazy lady. They are still dry from all of that hand washing but it is such a good defense against contagious illnesses. When I could not wash, an alcohol based hand sanitizer was my best friend.
Every time that I left my upstairs post and ventured into an area that my husband may have been, I was armed with my Lysol wipes. I wiped down the counters, faucet, light switches, fridge doors and even the buttons that you push to get ice. Do it multiple times a day. Be a little OCD about it, the benefits are worth it.
A women’s daily vitamin plus Emergen C powder was on my daily regimen. My daughter took her daily probiotic. We also tried to amp up our fruit/veggie intake with green smoothies. I figured it would not hurt and might help.
I ran the humidifier in our common room upstairs and in the bedroom the whole time we were quarantined.
Verdict After Flu Exposure and Remedies
None of the rest of us got sick!
Surely some of these items had a bigger effect than others in preventing us from getting sick but this is all the things I did in an attempt to prevent the spread of the flu in our house.
We stayed quarantined for a full 6 days, moving back in to the bedroom on night 7. After washing all sheets and comforters and spraying about a can of Lysol of course.
What are your remedies to prevent spreading the flu this time of year? Have you ever been able to prevent the flu after exposure to a significant other that was flu positive?