Influenza is extremely contagious!
Studies have shown that the Influenza A virus can live for:
- An hour or more in the air in enclosed environments;
- More than eight hours on hard surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic;
- Up to fifteen minutes if transferred from tissues to hands;
- Up to five minutes after transfer from the environmental surfaces.
People can be contagious for 24 hours before experiencing any symptoms, so we are often spreading the virus before we know we are sick. People are also contagious for up to 5 days after the symptoms go away.
Here are 3 tips to reducing your risk of catching influenza this season:
- Get vaccinated – vaccination is the single most effective way of protecting yourself against the flu;
- Wash your hands and practice good personal hygiene, such as trying not to touch your mouth or nose;
- Where possible, avoid crowds during the flu season (in Australia, this is mainly from July through to October).