Skip to main content

Home Care Instructions for Flu and Upper Respiratory Symptoms

Follow the instructions below if you are sick at home with flu or upper respiratory symptoms, which can include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • cough

General instructions for self-care

  • Stay home when you are sick unless you need to go to a medical appointment.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing utensils, toothbrushes, hugging, kissing and shaking hands.

Treat your symptoms

  • Sore throat: try throat lozenges, hard candy, or warm broths.
  • Poor appetite and feeling tired: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Cough: Try honey or cough drops. Some over-the-counter cough syrups may help. Check with your provider before taking.
  • Fever and pain: For fever and headache, muscle aches and sort throat, use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®).
  • If the air in your home is dry a cool mist humidifier can help.

Over the counter medications are available at local drug and grocery stores.

Carefully read the instructions and warnings on the package insert for all medication you take. If you are pregnant, or have any medical conditions, please check with your clinician before taking any medications.

Consider working remotely if that is an option until you are well enough to go out. Generally, you can return to normal activities 24 hours after your fever is gone and you feel well enough.

Call your provider if you think you need to be seen or if your symptoms get worse.