My immune system is suppressed from medication. I must avoid being around people who receive the active flu virus [nasal spray and vaccine]. I cannot get a straight answer form my HMO on the following questions I posed to them.
1. How long does the virus live on surfaces [clothes, table tops] and the atmosphere?
2. If the active flu virus is absorbed through the nasal passage can it be absorbed through the skin if I come in contact with it?
3. Will soap and water kill the virus?
4. Will a 50/50 spray of hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol kill the virus?
5. How long must I avoid being near acquaintances who receive the active virus? Hours? Days?
6. If my spouse receives the live virus will our children under 2 years old be in any danger when she comes home?
7. Same applies to my sister who is pregnant. Is she in danger when her husband comes home?
I have searched the CDC web site and various major hospitals web sites to no avail. If anyone has links or direct information please post them.
How do people get H1N1 (swine flu)?
You can become infected by the H1N1 influenza virus when an infected person coughs or sneezes droplets near you and you take in the virus through your mouth, nose or eyes. You can also get the virus by touching a contaminated surface such as a countertop or doorknob, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
How long can the virus live on a countertop or other surface?
The virus can live on hard surfaces for at least several hours and possibly more than a day. For that reason, it is important that you wash your hands after coughing or sneezing to avoid passing on the virus.
The length of time that cold or flu germs can survive outside the body on an environmental surface, such as a doorknob, varies greatly. But the suspected range is from a few seconds to 48 hours — depending on the specific virus and the type of surface. In mucus can be upwards to 17 days.
Flu viruses tend to live longer on surfaces than cold viruses do. Also, it's generally believed that cold and flu viruses live longer on nonporous surfaces — such as plastic, metal or wood — than they do on porous surfaces — such as fabrics, skin or paper.
The H1N1 FluMist is made with "live" virus. This means that the H1N1 flu will be a part of the nasal spray formula. It's supposed to be just enough to start your immunity to build defenses to it. The shot is supposed to be a killed virus.
If you take the H1N1 FluMist, you will in fact become a carrier of the H1N1 flu. Information on this drug states that you can and will shed the virus for up to 21 days. That means as you are visiting with your elderly family members, or shopping in the isles of your grocery store or sitting in church with young children and people with immune problems, YOU are going to be shedding the virus H1N1 germs.
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