Influenza is highly infectious and can be spread for up to a day before symptoms appear and for five days afterwards
Commonly known as ‘the flu’, influenza is a highly infectious disease that can be serious debilitating and affect the whole body. The flu is caused by a particular group of RNA viruses and is spread by infected people coughing or sneezing as well as from surfaces contaminated by respiratory secretions. So, it’s easy to catch and spread and hard to avoid.
Influenza is extremely infectious
Studies have shown that influenza can survive for:
- An hour or more in the air in enclosed environments
- More that 8 hours on hard surfaces such as stainless steel and plastic
- Up to 15 minutes if transferred from tissues to hands
- Up to 5 minutes after transfer from the environmental surfaces
One of the hardest things about stopping the spread of the flu is that people can be contagious a day before experiencing any symptoms. This means when people are out and about they could be spreading the virus before anyone knows they are unwell.