(BPT) - It came out of nowhere. The sudden fever, aches, and chills you’re experiencing are unbearable. You crawl into bed, thinking there’s not much you can do. You already feel guilty for bringing the flu home to your kids and spouse. You can try to fight it, but the virus will likely make its way through your household. Right?
That’s what the majority of U.S. adults think. According to a recent national survey conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) more than half of U.S. adults (55 percent) incorrectly think that when they get sick, others in the household are bound to get the flu and they just have to wait for the flu virus to pass. The survey also found that almost twice as many U.S. adults call a healthcare professional when their child experiences flu symptoms (46 percent) versus when they personally experience flu symptoms (25 percent).
“It’s important for adults to take care of themselves as well as those they care for, including children. The virus does not have to take down your whole family if one person gets sick,” says Dr. William Schaffner, MD, NFID medical director. “There are ways to fight flu. If you see a healthcare professional quickly, they may prescribe prescription flu medicines that may help you get better faster. Your doctor may also prescribe them to prevent others in your household from getting the flu.”
“Be proactive when it comes to the flu. It’s the considerate thing to do,” says Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and co-author of Emily Post's Etiquette 18th edition. “Etiquette is all about consideration. Using basic good etiquette can help keep you and your family flu-free by preventing the virus’ spread.”
The Emily Post Institute offers the following etiquette tips to manage situations where the flu virus could spread:
* Know your F.A.C.T.S.: If you’re experiencing Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness and Sudden Onset, it’s likely flu. Realize that you’re contagious and quickly see a healthcare professional.
* Stay home: If you have flu symptoms, it’s okay to cancel plans or take a sick day. The polite thing to do is to stay away from crowds to avoid spreading the virus. Be sure to call your host, or the office to let them know you won’t be able to make it.
* Stock up: Keep tissues and hand sanitizers with you at all times. If it’s others who are sick, like that cougher or sneezer next to you, prompt them to protect others by offering a tissue or a spritz of alcohol-based sanitizer.
* Hands down. Keep your hands below your shoulders when in public. The idea is to avoid touching your face, which may also help keep you from getting sick after rubbing your nose, mouth or eyes with unclean hands.
For more flu-fighting tips, visit NFID.org and FluFACTS.com.