06/04/09 — What you need to know about H1N1 to stay well

View Archive

What you need to know about H1N1 to stay well

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 4, 2009 1:46 PM


H1N1 and other flu can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk, for example, and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands. Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for up to eight hours after being deposited on the surface.


* Keep surfaces, especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys for children, clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Then, wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Stay home if you are sick for seven days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.