Past research has suggested the influenza virus can survive up to two to three hours in a droplet form, but there has been debate over whether the droplets are able to stay suspended in the air long enough to spur infection . When droplets are big, gravity can pull them down so they don't remain airborne.
Can you get germs from clothes?
Germs on clothes and towels can come from our own body. Germs can also get onto outer clothing if you handle contaminated food or brush against a soiled object. Most germs can survive on fabrics for some time. Read more about how long bacteria and viruses live outside the body.
Flu viruses capable of being transferred to hands and causing an infection can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses can survive on tissues for only 15 minutes. Like cold viruses, infectious flu viruses survive for much shorter periods on the hands.
Other possible treatment depends on the type of virus causing the infection. The effects will last as long as the virus affects the body. Most viral infections last from several days to 2 weeks. Mononucleosis may last longer.
The life of a virus (technically, viruses are not alive) depends on what type of virus it is, the conditions of the environment it is in, as well as the type of surface it is on. Cold viruses have been shown to survive on indoor surfaces for approximately seven days. Flu viruses, however, are active for only 24 hours.
Routes of flu transmission include: 1) direct or indirect (e.g., doorknobs, keyboards) contact with an infected person, 2) contact via large droplet spray from a respiratory fluid (via coughs and sneezes), and 3) inhalation of fine airborne particles, which are generated by the release of smaller, virus-containing
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Most cough, cold and flu viruses are thought to be passed from person to person by contact with respiratory droplets. Contact can occur by direct bodily contact (such as kissing) or touching something with virus on it (such as shaking hands with someone who has the flu) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
The typical incubation period for influenza is 1—4 days (average: 2 days). Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
Most of the time, you will become contagious about 24 to 72 hours after contracting the influenza virus and remain that way for up to five days after the onset of symptoms. But children or people with compromised immune systems can be contagious to those around them for up to two weeks.
For example, cold and flu viruses survive longer on inanimate surfaces that are nonporous, like metal, plastic and wood, and less on porous surfaces, like clothing, paper and tissue. Most flu viruses can live one to two days on nonporous surfaces, and 8 to 12 hours on porous surfaces.
It is not related to influenza, the real flu. Once everyone in your house is done being sick, it is reasonable to assume that you will have stray viruses lingering on household surfaces for another 2 weeks. Norovirus has been shown to live on kitchen counter tops for at least 7 days1.
Usually, you'll need nothing more than bed rest and plenty of fluids to treat the flu. But in some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).
The Flu Is Contagious. Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body.
The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu.
Remember, influenza is caused by a group of viruses that infect the respiratory system. As a result, effects on the body often focus on the throat, nose, and lungs. The nose may become congested or runny, the throat may become sore, and a cough may move from dry to wet as the virus runs its course.
Influenza Germs. Viruses that cause influenza can survive in the air as droplets for hours and live on hard surfaces like phones and keyboards for up to 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses clinging to a tissue can last for about 15 minutes, but viruses on the hands tend to fade quickly.
Influenza is thought to be transmitted primarily by droplets (particles ≥ 5 μm, and settling within 3-6 feet); however, the airborne route (particles < 5 μm remaining suspended in air) has been implicated in special situations, such as aerosol-generating procedures.
The viruses that cause the stomach flu are very contagious because they are present in very high amounts in the stool and vomit of ill persons. Another way to catch the stomach flu is by breathing in airborne viruses after an ill person vomits.