Phone: 214-691-3535  •  After Hours Nurse: 855-456-6976  •  8325 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite #225, Dallas,TX 75231

Exposed to the Flu?

What you need to know.


The incubation period is generally 1 to 2 days after exposure. Meaning once exposed, you would develop symptoms within 1 to 2 days. Young children may be contagious 24 hours before symptoms begin and for as long as 10 days after. What are the main symptoms? The most common are headache, fever, sore throat, cough, chills and body aches. Patients this year have reported headache as their first symptom.

How is the flu spread?

Influenza virus is mainly transmitted through the air and can spread up to 6 feet away by coughing and sneezing. Additionally, a person may get the flu by touching a surface that has flu virus on it and then by touching their nose or mouth, although this is less likely. To prevent the spread of colds and flu, follow these simple precautions:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces at home, including light switches, remote controls, door knobs and handles with Lysol or a similar product with bleach.
  • If you are sick with flu–like illness, it is recommended that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

How can you take care of your child?

Because the flu is a virus, the main thing you can do is treat the symptoms. Give your child plenty of clear liquids.

Stuffy nose:

  • Have your child sleep in an upright position such as an infant carrier or a car seat.
  • Use a saline nasal spray to thin out the nasal secretions then have your child blow or suction with a bulb syringe.
  • Use a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer in your child's room. Be sure and clean often.


  • If your child is over a year old and not allergic to honey, give ½ tsp to 1 tsp of honey as needed.
  • For children over 6, you can give cough drops or hard candy.


  • Give your child Motrin or acetaminophen to help control fever. Do not use aspirin-containing products.  For dosage information, see our dosage charts.

Does my child need antiviral medicine?

Our physicians do not routinely use antiviral medicines unless there is an underlying medical condition. Antivirals only reduce the symptoms by a day or two and many patients experience side effects as bad as the flu. Antivirals must be started within 24 hours of when the first symptom started to be effective. Runny nose will usually last 7 to 14 days and a cough can last 2 to 3 weeks.