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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long do germs and bacteria live on surface or in the air?

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Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 1414 Questions
How long will germs/bacteria remain on surfaces, or in the air in the home?
I have pneumonia, thus coughing/ mucous & have family coming to visit? My daughter is pregnant&
we're concerned. Thank you!
Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. G.Srinivasan 2 hours later
Welcome to XXXXXXX
I understand your worry and concern about your daughter.
In the initial few days, especially if you are not treated with antibiotics, the bacteria or the virus in the throat is likely to spread on coughing up.
If you have already on antibiotics for about 3 days, the chance of spread is not high as the bacterial growth would have been arrested.
The spread is by airborne route, just during the episode of coughing, where susceptible persons like pregnant women tend to pick up the organism from the air droplets.
The measures that would help are.
1.     To maintain at least a few feet distance from her during the visit.
2.     Wear face mask- both for you and your daughter.
3.     Not to share the same clothes like towels and so on.
4.     The last being to take medical advice at the earliest if she develops symptoms after the visit.
Hope this helps. Kindly do not hesitate to write back for doubts if any,
Best regards

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