How long

  1. How long does the virus live on surfaces? I'm worried about bringing it home to my family. How long can it survive on clothes, shoes, hair ect. Of course I wash my hands but should I change clothes before going home or shower immediatly?

    Also what about going room to room at work. I change masks and wash hands but can I be transporting it on my clothes? I don't sanatize my stethascope between patients should I be?

    Are you doing any special room cleaning between positive patients or just the regular?
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    About bjaeram

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 239; Likes: 270


  3. by   oramar
    I don't know the answers to your question but I want to tell you it is a good one. You sound like a excellent nurse and family person and I want to give you two thumbs up.
  4. by   jessi1106
    here is what we were told at work from infection control:

    "the h1n1 flu virus can live outside the body on hard surfaces, such as stainless steel and plastic, for 24-48 hours and on soft surfaces, such as cloth, paper and tissues for less than 8-12 hours."

    and as far as infection:

    "however, it can only infect a person for up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on hard surfaces, and for up to a few minutes after being deposited on soft surfaces."

    i am not so worried about clothing, paper, other soft surfaces now.

    hope that helps.
  5. by   jennifer0702
    If the virus can survive 24-48 hours how can it only infect you 2-8 hours after being deposited?
  6. by   RuRnurse?
    Technically, a virus is not "alive", it only can switch on in a living cell. So, perhaps it weakens with the passing of time outside of a cell, and becomes less able to cause infection...
    Someone will be along with a better answer, I'm sure. But viruses are not alive in the sense we think of being alive.