TIPS: Combating Swine Flu

Incubation period seems to be 3 to 4 days for this strain (time of exposure to symptoms) not 1-2 as previously reported.  People have the potential to infect others from a day before symptoms develop to seven days after they develop.

Environmental aspects: How you get it from surfaces and other objects. This is the result of some experiments carried out at a prominent lab in the U.K.  19 Viruses survived on hard non-porous surfaces (e.g., stainless steel counter, plastic washing-up bowl) for up to 72 hours but only small quantities were detectable beyond 48 hours. In contrast, virus was recovered from soft porous items (e.g., pajamas, handkerchiefs, tissues, magazines) for up to 24 hours, but only small quantities were detectable after 12 hours.

From contaminated surfaces onto hands: .19 Measurable viruses could be transferred to hands from hard stainless steel surfaces for up to 24 hours after the surface had been contaminated and from soft tissues for up to 2 hours after, albeit in very low quantities after 15 minutes. Of note" once virus was transferred to hands, it survived for only 5 minutes -- albeit long enough for self-inoculation of eyes or mucous membranes to theoretically occur.  The biggest risk of course is someone coughing or sneezing right onto your face or shaking hands with someone right after they have touched their nose or eyes or sneezed or coughed onto their hands. This is why frequent hand washing is so important.