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How do viruses spread from person to person?

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Viruses spread from person to person mainly in droplets that fly out when you cough or sneeze. These tiny drops from a sick person move through the air and land on the mouths or noses of others nearby.

Germs are also passed along when you touch mucus droplets from someone else on a surface like a desk and then touch your own eyes, mouth, or nose before you get a chance to wash your hands. Viruses like the flu can live 24 hours or longer on plastic and metal surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and cups.

From: How Not to Spread the Flu WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: FDA: "Influenza: Vaccination Still the Best Protection." CDC: "Cover your Cough;" "Good Health Habits for Prevention;" "Cleaning to Prevent the Flu;" and "Influenza  Symptoms." Mayo Clinic: "Hand washing: A simple way to prevent infection."


Bean, B.  , July 1982.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 16, 2018

SOURCES: FDA: "Influenza: Vaccination Still the Best Protection." CDC: "Cover your Cough;" "Good Health Habits for Prevention;" "Cleaning to Prevent the Flu;" and "Influenza  Symptoms." Mayo Clinic: "Hand washing: A simple way to prevent infection."


Bean, B.  , July 1982.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 16, 2018

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How can I avoid passing the flu to people close to me?

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