How Contagious is Flu?
If you're contagious, protect others. If you need to leave your home or be in contact with others, wear a mask.
Read below to learn more about flu contagion and how to stay healthy during flu season.
How does flu spread?
People who are sick with the flu can spread the virus to other people through respiratory droplets that come out when you cough, sneeze, or talk. Then, droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Although less common, it's possible to get sick from the flu by touching a surface or object (like a doorknob) that someone who is sick with the flu touched with unsanitized hands. If droplets anded on that object or surface and then you touch your face, droplets can get inside your body and make you sick.
When does flu spread?
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.
When am I no longer contagious with the flu?
People with flu are no longer contagious if 24 hours have passed without a fever and without the use of fever-reducing medications.
If I'm exposed to someone who is contagious, is it guaranteed that I will get the flu?
Not necessarily! If you're vaccinated against the flu, you're less likely to get and spread the virus. Flu vaccines can reduce the chances of getting sick with the flu by up to 60%. You can also take other precautions like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and cleaning objects and surfaces.
What is the best way to prevent flu contagion?
The best prevention is vaccination! Everyone six months and older can receive an annual flu vaccine each and every year to help prevent getting and spreading the flu!
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