Flu Season
Virginia Department of Health
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

How Influenza Spreads
Influenza spreads mainly from person to person by droplets from the nose or throat that are released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Sometimes, people may become infected by touching something with influenza virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose before washing their hands.

Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. This can be longer in some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems. This means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Symptoms usually appear 1 to 3 days after exposure to the influenza virus.