How Influenza Is Spread

Influenza spreads rapidly from person to person by air-born droplets carried in a cough or a sneeze. Under the right conditions the virus can survive up to 48 hours on nonporous surfaces like a telephone receiver, computer keyboard, doorknob, kitchen countertop, coffee pot handle….and it can incubate in as little as one day. Infected individuals can be contagious for about a day before their symptoms appear, and up to a week afterwards.

How Influenza Is Spread

  • Influenza is spread via respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing).
  • The incubation period is from 1 to 4 days.
  • Infected persons are contagious for about a week, although children and immunocompromised patients are contagious for a longer period of time.