Tuesday, February 25, 2014


This is an excerpt from an article by JJE found on SURVIVALBLOG.  The full article is called "Transmission, Prevention and Treatment of the Flu."  There are many wonderful ideas listed here that will help families prepare for home health care of their loved ones if they get sick.  Thanks to Herman Nordbruch for this great find!

"So how can we prevent and treat those infected with a flu virus, without hospitalization or vaccination available? Simple, we resort back to the tried and true basic care-- taking proper contact and airborne precautions to minimize exposure.
  1. Keep the person with the flu in a separate room. This will help keep the other family members from getting the flu. Try to give the sick person their own room. If there are two sick people, they can share a room and share a bathroom. Do not let the sick person share cups, towels, linens, et cetera. Keep a good air flow in the room. Occasionally open the window for fresh air to circulate. Things that you should keep in the sick room and not remove are:
    1. Tissues,
    2. A trashcan with a lid and a plastic bag,
    3. Plenty of water (possibly a squeezable bottle or a cup with a straw for those too weak to sit up),
    4. Thermometer,
    5. Humidifier (the extra moisture will make it easier for the person to breathe),
    6. Facemasks (when the sick person leaves the room, they should be wearing a mask to protect others),
    7. If the "What if" happens:
      1. It is especially crucial to keep the sick person isolated and separate from your group.
      2. Protect the sick person from outside elements by placing them in a separate tent, if housing is not available. Keep them warm, dry, and off of the ground.
      3. Remove bodily waste, and bury it far away from the rest of the group.
      4. Boil any items, that the sick person has used, for at least 20 minutes.
      5. If the sick person remains in a tent, it is still important to circulate air, by occasionally opening a tent window to let fresh air in.
      6. Keep the sick person warm using hot heavy rocks placed on a fire. Place the rocks into a Dutch oven to heat the tent. Create a humidifier by pouring water over the hot rocks.
  2. Treating symptoms of the sick person:
    1. Fever: If medications are available, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, or if using herbal remedies, keep a medication log for when doses were given. Always treat the fever. This will make the person feel better, and they may be able to get more rest. Bringing down a fever may also avoid febrile seizures, which are most common in children. Tylenol and Ibuprofen may not always bring a fever down, but should take effect within 30-45 minutes. In addition to using medications to treat a fever, there other steps to take:
      1. Put a cool damp washcloth over their forehead,
      2. Wash their arms and body with a cool damp cloth,
      3. Put the person in a slightly warm bath,
      4. Give them herbal tea-- Lemon Balm tea and Yarrow tea promote sweating, which can break the fever,
      5. Give them Catnip and Ginger tea, which can relieve fever, and
      6. Treat chills that may be associated with a fever by:
        1. Providing the sick person with a light blanket,
        2. Bathing in warm water containing Epson salts (to sooth sore muscles),
        3. Providing willow bark, peppermint, ginger, and/or rosemary, which have pain-relieving properties,
        4. Serving Chamomile tea, which can help calm the body.
    2. A Sore throat:
      1. Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the pain,
      2. Ice chips or frozen popsicles,
      3. Salt water gargle then spit it out,
      4. Fennel tea will reduce fever and sooth a sore throat and upset stomach, and
      5. Ginger, Tilden flower, and sage teas will sooth sore throats. (Sage tea is also a natural antiseptic and antibacterial.)
    3. A cough: As a nurse I cannot stress enough that coughing will help break up mucus and congestion, and will make the sick person feel better. Encourage coughing. A dry cough (no mucus production, usually a hacking sound) will be irritating to the airway, throat, and chest. Treating a dry cough will make the person feel better, so provide the following:
      1. A humidifier,
      2. Hard candy to suck on, and
      3. Inhalation of chamomile, eucalyptus, or thyme, which will help loosen mucus and sooth the respiratory passageways.
    4. Congestion:
      1. A warm washcloth to the face for sinus pain,
      2. Peppermint tea can stimulate mucus flow,
      3. Cayenne pepper added to juices or soups can help break up mucus, and
      4. Licorice root is a natural expectorant and is also an anti-inflammatory.
    5. Upset stomach:
      1. Offer plain foods,
      2. Clear liquids,
      3. Valerian root tea and ginger tea, which will help sooth an upset stomach,
      4. Goldenseal tea, which boosts the immune system and treats diarrhea,
      5. Cinnamon tea, which may also stop vomiting and relieve nausea.
  3. Cleaning up after the sick person:
    1. If means of doing laundry in a washer and dryer are available, then wash laundry with soap on a hot setting. Remember to hold linen away from yourself and wash your hands! It is alright to wash the sick person's laundry with the laundry of other family members.
    2. Cleaning dishes: Dishes can be washed with normal soap and water. To sterilize, again you must boil for at least 20 minutes.
    3. As mentioned above, alcohol is a good disinfectant to kill the flu virus. I recommend keeping an abundant supply of rubbing alcohol for sterilizing the sick room.
  4. It is crucial that the sick person remains hydrated. The person infected with the flu will be at an increased risk for fluid loss due to vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever, and mucus production. The individual must "push" more fluids than usual. In the case that the person becomes dehydrated, here is a simple electrolyte solution:
    1. 1 liter potable water
    2. ½ teaspoonp salt
    3. ¼ teaspoon salt substitute (KCL)
    4. ½ teaspoon baking soda, and
    5. 2-3 Tablespoon sugar or honey.
    6. Crushed vitamins can also be added.
    7. NOTE for treating kids: Cut the additives in half.
  5. Protect yourself while caring for a person with the flu. Wear a mask and wash hands often. For immune boosting and antiviral herbs, try taking:
    1. Echinacea,
    2. Elderberry,
    3. Garlic,
    4. Asian Ginseng, and/or
    5. Wild Indigo.

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