How to care for a person infected with Influenza A (H1N1)?

You may get the Influenza A (H1N1) virus if you are caring for an infected person. The infected person is infectious 24 hours before symptoms appear and continues to be infectious throughout the period of illness.

What should you do when caring for a sick person?

  1. Keep the sick person away from other people as much as possible, especially from those in the high risk group.

  2. Remind the sick person to cover his cough and sneeze, and clean his hands with soap and water or hand sanitizers immediately.

  3. Have everyone in the household clean hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers frequently, including after every contact with the sick person. Use paper towels for drying hands after hand washing. Do not share towels with others.

  4. If you need to go near the sick person, ensure both of you wear surgical mask and keep a distance of at least 1 meter. Dispose used mask in a covered rubbish bin. After taking off you mask, clean your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers.

  5. Have the sick person wear a face mask if he needs to be in common area of the house.

  6. Maintain good ventilation at home, such as keeping windows open in toilets, rooms and the kitchen.

  7. Have only one adult caregiver for the ill person. If you are in the high risk group, avoid being the caregiver.

  8. Let the sick person has meal in his or her own room as masks would have to be removed during meals.

Household cleaning, laundry and waste disposal...

  1. Throw away tissues and other disposable items used by the sick person into covered rubbish bins. Wash your hands after touching used tissues and similar waste.

  2. Wipe surfaces (especially stair rails, doorknobs, bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

  3. Bed sheets, towels, eating utensils and dishes used by the sick person must be thoroughly washed.

  4. Bed sheets and towels can be washed using household fabric washing powder in the washing machine.

  5. Do not carry dirty laundry by 'hugging' to avoid contaminating yourself. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizers right after handling dirty laundry.

How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?

From 1 day before the infected person gets sick to 5 to 7 days after. The virus may stay longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems.

How long can the virus remain viable on objects?

Studies have shown that the virus can survive on surfaces for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on the surface (such as table tops and doorknobs).

Back to the top

Share this page

Knowledge Base ID :   1488
Last Reviewed :   December 30, 2016
Source :   Ministry of Health Malaysia
Tags :  

Related Knowledge Base Issues