In outpatients with relatively mild illness, the clinician should guide patients to self-monitor for worrisome symptoms. Patients should be monitored for worsening of symptoms or recurrence of symptoms that had seemed to resolve. In patients at higher risk, antiviral treatment should be given, and such patients should be watched for the development of complications, including secondary bacterial pneumonias.
Patients with suspected, probable, or confirmed influenza infection are advised to stay at home in order to rest and avoid exposing other people. If possible, the patient should isolate themselves from others until 7 days after the onset of symptoms or 24 hours after the fever has abated (whichever is longer). One person should be designated as caregiver for the patient. If antiviral treatment is prescribed, patients should take all antiviral medications for a complete course to reduce the risk of resistance. Patients are encouraged to stay hydrated and take medications for symptomatic relief of fever or cough. Patients <18 years of age should avoid aspirin.