Swine flu: How to quarantine yourself

What happens to the people who have contracted swine flu or who havebeen with someone who has symptoms of the virus? Find out here.

Health authorities are able to instruct people who have been in close contact with someone who has signs or symptoms of swine flu to stay at home and not leave their home or garden in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

When a person with the flu breathes, coughs or sneezes they can spread the flu virus from their respiratory tract.

Droplets carrying the virus can spread up to a metre onto surfaces such as tables, benches and floors.

For more information on home quarantine, visit health.nsw.gov.au

For more resources on swine flu visit: health.gov.au/healthemergency

Swine flu hotline number: 1802007

What is home quarantine?

Quarantine means separating people who are not showing signs of human swine influenza but have possibly been exposed to swine flu from other people in the general community or at home.

How long will I be in quarantine?

You will be in quarantine for at least 7 days after your last exposure or until we are sure you have not been exposed to the virus.

If you develop signs or symptoms of swine flu you will be quarantined for up to 7 days from the start of symptoms.

You will be told by a health care worker when you can leave your home.

Will I need to have tests done?

You will not need to have any tests done unless you develop signs or symptoms of swine flu.

Initial results of swabs will be available within 24 hours and confirmed results within 72 hours.

Can I have visitors?

No, unless they are health care workers coming to treat or check on your progress. Non-household members should not enter your household.

You might warn expected quests by telephone that they should not visit until you are allowed out of isolation.

What signs and symptoms should I be looking for?

The symptoms of human swine influenza are similar to normal influenza: Fever, cough, tiredness, muscle aches, sore throat, chills, shortness of breath, runny nose, headache.

Some cases of human swine influenza have also complained of vomiting, diarrhoea or pneumonia. Symptoms of influenza generally appear between two to four days after exposure.

What about the shopping?

You should ask neighbours, family or friends to get food and any other essential supplies for you.

They should leave the groceries or supplies on your doorstep and keep at least one metre away from anyone in home isolation.

If you are having difficulties, contact your local Public Health Unit for advice.

What should I do to protect other people in my household?

• Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissues into the nearest bin and wash your hands immediately afterwards.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based gels are also effective.

• If possible, sleep and stay in a separate room to other members of your household.

• Keep your personal items separate and do not share them with others in the household.

• If you develop symptoms of human swine influenza, you should then wear a surgical mask whenever you are close (within one metre) to any member of your household.

Do I have to report to anyone?

A health care worker will contact you each day to follow-up on your progress until you are no longer in quarantine.


If an Australian has contracted swine flu, officers are able to instruct her/him not leave their home or garden in order to prevent the spread of human swine influenza.

Isolation means separating people with symptoms of human swine flu from other people in the general community by isolating them in their home.

You may go outside in your garden but must stay one metre away from your boundary.

How long will I be in isolation?

You will be in isolation until you are well, or until your tests have shown that you do not have human swine influenza, or until seven days after the onset of symptoms of influenza.

You will be told by a health care worker when you can leave home.

For more resources on isolation, visit health.gov.au

Source SBS

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch