The H1N1 Flu Virus

Q7. Can I catch swine influenza from eating pork?

No. H1N1 Flu Virus is not transmitted through pork meat. Continue to follow proper handling and cooking procedures to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Q8. What is the incubation period for H1N1 Flu Virus?

This is a new virus and we continue to learn more about it and how it spreads. However, we expect the incubation period for human swine influenza to be two to seven days.

Q9. If I get sick with H1N1 Flu Virus once, does that give me immunity or can I get infected with it again?

Typically, when a person is infected with an influenza virus and recovers, they develop antibodies that provide them with immunity to that particular virus. However, this is a new virus, and we continue to work with international partners to learn more about how it affects people and how it spreads.

Q10. How long does the virus live outside of the body?

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; 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.

Q11. Can the H1N1 Flu Virus be transmitted from humans to other animals, other than pigs, such as farm animals and household pets?

Scientists are currently conducting a range of studies to learn more about the H1N1 Flu Virus. Part of this work is focusing on the susceptibility of various species.

Q12. How high can the body temperature reach for an individual who has a fever who is infected with the H1N1 Flu Virus, and how long do symptoms last?

More investigation is needed on how long a person can be infectious (be able to spread the virus to others), but, it is believed that this period is for one day before the onset of symptoms and continues for approximately 7 days after symptoms have started. What we are generally seeing in Canada with H1N1 is similar to typical influenza, whereby illness includes a sudden onset of respiratory illness with a fever (body temperature above 38ºC or 100.4ºF), cough, and potentially other symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue. Most people with influenza recover completely in 1-2 weeks; however, some may have serious complications (particularly those with underlying conditions) since the severity of illness can vary. A person who is concerned about their health or wellbeing should contact a health care practitioner to discuss their personal circumstances. H1N1 Flu Virus has been reported around the world, and the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic influenza virus. Governments around the world and the World Health Organization are engaged to investigate and address this situation. The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to work with federal, provincial and international governments to address this situation, and will share more information with Canadians as it becomes available.