How long can influenza virus remain viable on objects (such as books and doorknobs)?
Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a personfor up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface.Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and thentouches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person movethrough the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person ona surface like a desk, for example, and then touches his own eyes, mouth or nose before washing hands.
Are there medicines to treat H1N1 (swine) flu?
Yes, use of oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu?) or zanamivir (brand name Relenza ?) for the treatmentand/or prevention of infection with these H1N1 (swine) influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescriptionmedicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing inyour body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster.They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soonafter getting sick (within two days of symptoms).Follow the advice of your local public health department regarding school closures, avoiding crowds andother measures to reduce flu transmission. These measures will continue to be important after a novelH1N1 vaccine is available because they can prevent the spread of other viruses that cause respiratoryinfections.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where people have been identified with new H1N1 flu and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting ordiarrhoea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to seek medical care. If youhave severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seekmedical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.Antiviral drugs may reduce the symptoms and duration of illness, just as they do for seasonal influenza.They also may contribute to preventing severe disease and death. WHO is in touch with public healthauthorities and clinicians in affected countries and is gathering information about how effective the drugsare.
What about using a mask? What does WHO recommend?
If you are not sick you do not have to wear a mask. If you are caring for a sick person, you can wear amask when you are in close contact with the ill person and dispose of it immediately after contact, andclean your hands thoroughly afterwards.If you are sick and have to travel or be around others, cover your mouth and nose.