We are getting hit hard with the flu bug this year. Please wash your hands as often as possible and stay home if you are sick.
How far away do I have to be from someone with the flu to prevent from catching it?
Infected people with the flu can spread it up to about 6 feet away. The flu virus is spread mainly by droplets expelled when people cough, sneeze or talk. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Sometimes the flu can be contracted by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your mouth or nose.
To avoid catching the flu, people should stay away from sick people and please stay home if you’re sick. It is extremely important to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands as often as you can. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitizer. Napkins or towels, eating utensils, and dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing them thoroughly. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at home, work and school, especially if someone has been sick.
Even if you have had the flu shot, it is best to avoid sick people and wash your hand frequently. The flu shot is not 100% effective, so don’t have a false sense of security that just because you have had the flu shot, you are protected.
When is a person considered contagious ?
Most 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 can pass the flu virus for longer than 7 days. A person can start to develop flu symptoms 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. A person can be contagious when they are sick and even before they develop symptoms. It is possible to be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.