What is the Incubation Period for Swine Flu?
Swine flu has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the alert level phase 5. This implies that rapid human-to-human spread of the disease is impending. Despite only 1000 people dying from it, this disease is suspected to cause much more deaths once the flu season arrives in the western hemisphere. Swine flu incubation period has an impact on the spread of the disease.
People may be spreading the swine flu virus before even knowing that they have it. This makes fore-knowledge of swine flu very important. The Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, USA states that the incubation period of this virus is between 1 to 7 days. In this time, the infected person would also be spreading the disease without even showing the symptoms yet. This is what makes precautions for preventing the spread of swine flu so important.
The unique characteristic of the swine flu virus is that it can live outside human body for 2 to 8 hours. It can cling on to the doorknob, the table, towel or anything that comes in contact with an infected person. Regular hand washing with and antibiotic soap is the first precaution for prevention of swine flu. Hands should be washed with force for 20 seconds to ensure removal of viruses.
In case you get afflicted with the disease, you should take care of yourself and also try to prevent the virus from spreading. Keep in mind that the virus can live for up to 2 hours on any surface. In order to save people near you and the also in the interest of public at large, always sneeze or cough with a tissue covering your mouth. Keep disinfecting your hands and surfaces in your home.
Since the incubation period for swine flu is up to 7 days, a patient needs to be vigilant even after his symptoms have subsided. He can infect someone else till upcoming 7 days.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 07, 2011
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