Flu viruses, including H1N1, are commonly spread when the infected person coughs or sneezes into the air in proximity to others. You can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, such as keyboards, phones, doorknobs, or personal care items and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. The H1N1 virus remains alive on surfaces for 2 to 8 hours.
To keep from getting sick with the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:
- Hand washing is the best, single way to avoid the spread of infection. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in the entrances of all campus buildings and in the computers labs located in Goulet, Poisson, Academic Resource Center, and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
- Get vaccinated. Talk to your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated for seasonal flu and/or H1N1. A vaccine clinic for the seasonal flu will be held on campus.
- Encourage sick people to stay at home or in their residence except to speak to a health care provider about whether they have the flu, appropriate treatment, and what actions to take if they have severe symptoms. They should stay home until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours.
- Stay at least six feet away from infected people, or wear a face mask while in their presence.
- Establish regular schedules for frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, including doorknobs, handrails, remote controls, keyboards, telephones, chairs, and desks. Use disinfectant wipes for cleaning.