Pandemic Flu infection control factsheet

  • Influenza is highly infectious, spreading from person to person by coughing or sneezing
  • Transmission may also occur through hand contact with contaminated surfaces, for example, door handles, and indirect contact with infectious respiratory secretions
  • People are likely to be infectious from just before symptoms develop until four to five days after the onset of symptoms for adults; children tend to be infectious for much longer
  • The incubation period is normally two to three days
  • Influenza may spread rapidly in crowded conditions and among people in enclosed communities especially where the residents are particularly vulnerable, such as long stay residential care
  • People should be advised to remain at home when sick – especially if they have a cough and a fever
  • Taking medicines to alleviate influenza symptoms and drinking plenty of fluids will speed recovery 

What people can do to help slow the spread of disease and protect themselves  

  • Cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Use tissues to blow the nose and dispose of the tissues by bagging and binning
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water – especially after coming in from outside

Source: Department of Health