Home > Davis Health Center > Flu

What To Do If Your Roommate is Ill with the Flu

A person with the flu is contagious (able to infect others) for 24 hours before they even know they have the flu (before symptoms of flu begin) so it is possible you have already been exposed. But to decrease further risk, consider following these precautions.

  • Avoid being face-to-face with the sick person. If possible, it is best to spend the least amount of time in close contact with a sick person.
  • If at all possible, maintain a distance of 6 feet from your ill roommate. The virus drops out of the air between 3 and 6 feet after a person coughs.
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face mouth or eyes. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces.
  • Make sure to wash your hands after touching the sick person or handling anything they have touched or used. (tissues, laundry, glasses, remotes etc.)
  • Encourage your roommate to follow the guidelines in the What To Do If You Get Symptoms of the Flu. Having the ill person wear a facemask (available from the Health Center) can decrease the chances of them spreading the virus to others.