My Roommate Has the Flu! Now What?

It comes every year, whether you’re ready for it or not. It can pass uneventfully, or it can wreak havoc on your life. It’s invasive, it’s sneezy, and it’s no fun at all.

It’s flu season!

Maybe you’ve managed to avoid the flu so far. Lucky you! But what if your roommate has the flu? Check out a few tips on preventing the flu, even when you can’t avoid contact with someone who has it.

Is the Flu Contagious?

According to the CDC, flu cases spike from December to February. Think your roommate has the flu? According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the most common symptoms of the flu:

  • A fever of 100.4 (F) or higher
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Body aches or headaches
  • Chills and/or sweats
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat

If your roommate checks off several of those symptoms, they’ve likely contracted the flu. The CDC says that the flu is most contagious in the first 3-4 days that someone is infected, so now is the time to act if you’re going to keep the flu virus out of your system. Before you go to the extreme measure of evicting your roommate for excessive sneezing and sniffling, take a few preventative measures to stay healthy while they recuperate.

How to Avoid the Flu When Your Roommate Is Sick

You may not be able to avoid your roommate (unless you pack up and leave for a week), but you can avoid getting the flu. Here’s how:

  • Get your flu vaccine. Flu vaccinations change from year to year to combat the virus most effectively. So, even if you had a vaccine last year, it’s a good idea to get a flu shot. Many walk-in clinics and pharmacies offer flu shots for cheap or even free.
  • Wash your hands. Even though it seems obvious, it’s crucial when your roommate has the flu. Every surface your roommate touches could spread the virus, and since you live with them, you’re likely touching those same surfaces.
  • Clean and disinfect your apartment. How long does the flu virus live on surfaces? The short answer: long enough to infect you. The flu virus can survive anywhere from 8-48 hours on various apartment surfaces, from couch pillows to kitchen countertops. Once you’ve determined your roommate has the flu, keep your apartment germ-free with some extra cleaning efforts for the next several days. Additionally, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth—doing so provides easy access to nasty flu germs.

My Roommate Is Sick All the Time. What Do I Do?

Sick of getting sick from your roommate’s ever-revolving door of illnesses? Maybe it’s time for a place that’s all your own. ApartmentSearch can help you find the perfect one-bedroom apartment, where the only germs you need to worry about are your own!