Health Department

Flu can spread three ways:

  • By hand. Someone sneezes into his hand and then grabs a doorknob that you touch, or shakes your hand.
  • By large droplets of virus, if someone is in the direct path of a sneeze or cough. Those heavy droplets fall quickly to the ground.
  • By tiny particles, which can stay suspended in the air for far longer periods.

The last method of spread is the least likely. Laboratory studies have failed to show that influenza is spread by aerosolization and it is not considered a route of transmission.

What you can do to protect yourself during a pandemic:

  • Wash hands frequently using soap and water, or an alcohol based sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Put used tissues in a covered trash receptacle and then wash your hands.
  • If you get sick, stay at home, and away from others as much as possible.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Interacting with the public:

  • Avoid close contact with people who appear sick. Keep at least three feet away from the sick individual.
  • If the individual is obviously sick, and business must be conducted, provide them with a mask to minimize your exposure.
  • Wash your hands between each public encounter.
  • Unless you are in a patient care setting, (like a nurse caring for an ill patient), there is no requirement to wear a mask of any type..
  • Keep any work surfaces you share with the public clean. Wipe between each public encounter with a standard labeled household disinfectant, or disposable disinfectant swipes.

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Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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