Flu infection, computer artwork. Influenza virus particles entering the lungs.


Flu infection, computer artwork. Influenza virus particles entering the lungs.



The Flu: How It Spreads, and How You Can Stop It

By: Leah Weber

Every year like clockwork, we are confronted with the dreaded flu season. Scientists work tirelessly to understand Influenza and how we can prevent the spread.

January 31, 2020

Flu Season is upon us. Influenza activity is high across the country and is expected to stay that way for weeks. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) keeps detailed records about the spread of the virus on their page dedicated to the seasonal flu. It seems that this epidemic gets worse every year and the question always is, what can we do to keep ourselves safe from this virus?

Step one of prevention is understanding what we’re fighting against. In 2018, a study was published about the flu virus and how long it was able to survive once is it spread outside of the human body through touching, coughing, and sneezing. It was found that it truly depends on the environment and the mode of transmission, but that there is opportunity for the virus to survive outside of minutes, and even past an hour once it leaves the body.

Flu virus particles, computer artwork.


Flu virus particles, computer artwork.



Our best bet in combatting the flu this year is an individual effort to prevent the spread of this virus that can be potentially fatal to high-risk groups. Take a look at the list below and see how you can prevent the spread of the flu.

  • Get Vaccinated!

    • Everyone past the age of 6 months old should get the flu shot. Make sure to confirm with your healthcare provider which version of the flu vaccine is right for you and if you’re eligible.
  • Stay Home!

    • If you are sick, stay home! You can prevent the spread of the virus to people who could be fatally harmed by the virus. Get advice from your doctor about when you are no longer contagious.
  • Wash Your Hands!

    • Sing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself or count to 20 slowly while you are washing your hands with soap and running water. If you can’t get your hands on soap, hand sanitizer can be an acceptable substitute, but make sure it is alcohol based.
  • Cover Your Mouth!

    • If you feel a cough or a sneeze or cough coming on, protect those around you by aiming into your shirt or a tissue. Avoid using your hands as a shield, especially if you are not able to wash them immediately without touching other surfaces.

You can always use the CDC as a resource if you feel you need more information about flu treatment and prevention. Always remember to check with a medical professional before following any instructions or protocols suggested.

Next Up

The Perseid Meteor Shower Reaches its Peak

Stargazers rejoice! The annual Perseid meteor shower is upon us. Here's what you need to know...(updated August 11, 2022)

How 3D Print Building is Changing the Future

Building with 3D printing technology is sparking widespread interest in the construction industry. Besides reducing waste and our impact on the environment, it can speed up construction from weeks, or months, to days. Projects that use simple raw materials like soil, straw, and even salt, can be built in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional construction.

Scientists in China Discover Rare Moon Crystal that Could Power Earth

A rare lunar crystal found on the near side of the moon is giving scientists hope of providing limitless power for the world – forever.

Microplastics in Blood Spotlight Health Emergency from Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is growing rapidly across Earth’s ecosystems and its threat to humanity and wildlife is too. Outcomes for health and the environment will be dire unless we tackle it, says a United Nations (UN) report. But the discovery of microplastics in human blood means urgent action is needed.

113 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tracks Uncovered Due to Drought

Severe drought conditions dried up a river at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas leading to the pre-eminent discovery.

How to Save Humanity from Extinction

Here are some goals we need to achieve if we want to reach our 500,000th birthday as a species.

Can this New AI Technology Help Us Understand the Languages of Animals?

A California-based nonprofit is searching to build an AI language that allows humans more deeply understand non-human languages to help change our ecological impact on our Earth.

AI Tools Help to Predict Extreme Weather and Save Lives

Predicting extreme weather events is a tricky business. Changing climate conditions have increased the frequency of severe storms, floods, and heatwaves, along with larger wildfires. As a result, scientists are using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for more accurate forecasts that help to minimize damage and save lives.

Saving Baby Elephants from a Deadly Herpes Virus

One biotechnology company is accelerating efforts to eradicate a fatal disease affecting endangered elephants.

Building Atlantropa: One Man’s Plan To Drain the Mediterranean Sea

Atlantropa may be the most bizarre and ambitious environmental project you have never heard of.