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john1236 07-29-2009 04:15 AM

Worrying about H1N1 Infection
Hi, everyone!

My question may seem to be a little ridiculous to you. But before getting a definite answer, I've been worrying about it and don't know what to do.

About one month ago when I bought I laptop computer, the technician coughed again and again toward the keyboard and screen when he was installing some softwares.

In a period when swine flu was spreading worldwide, I was afraid of the possible fact that his saliva, which might contain the H1N1 virus, was splashed onto the keyboard and screen. Therefore, I've up to now packed the laptop into its original box and put it at the corner my living room, daring not to open it. The room is on the ground floor and is a little wet. The temperature of that corner, I guess, is about 18-25 centigrade.

It is now about one month after I bought the laptop. Nobody in my family has up to now been infected with the swine flu. As for the technican , I have no evidence to prove or rule out the possibility that he was infected when coughing.

With the above information, I can hardly judge whether H1N1 virus exist on my computer now, as I'm by no means a specialist in infectious diseases. At least I cannot fully rule out the possibility.

Can anyone tell me if it is ABSOLUTELY safe to open the box and use the laptop now? Is is possibles that other utensils in my room is already polluted by the virus because the box containing the laptop has been put in the room?
If the laptop can be used now, do I need to sterilize it after opening the box? If so, what is the best way to sterilize it?

Thank you very much!

harka 08-03-2009 09:50 PM

Re: Worrying about H1N1 Infection

First of all, welcome to the boards! Second of all, with the whole H1N1 thing going around, you are the FIRST person to mention it on this board! Hard to believe eh?

You are unfortunately one of the victims of the mass hysteria caused by the media on H1N1. Each year, many people (including young, healthy individuals) get very sick from influenza and die. It is a VAST minority of people who this happens to. Most people get slightly ill and that's it. This is NO different with swine flu! The vast majority of people who get it (almost 99%) have very mild symptoms (maybe a runny nose, muscle aches, sore throat) and then recover fully. EVEN IF you were to get H1N1, you likely would have no problems.

To answer your question, you are safe. Even if the person DID have H1N1, it wouldn't matter if it was on the computer screen because it would have been on every surface he touched and unless you bleach every surface of your house daily, you would still be exposed to it.

Another interesting thing: the two main strains of SEASONAL (i.e. not swine) flu which circulate the world are H3N2 and H1N1. Yes, H1N1 is actually a slightly mutated version of our own, home-grown H1N1.

writeleft 08-03-2009 10:38 PM

Re: Worrying about H1N1 Infection
Hi John,

Welcome to the boards. As far as your computer goes, simply wipe it down with an antibacterial cloth, and you will be fine. The virus needs a warm moist environment to survive.

My experience with H1N1 is quite different than harkas. When my son became ill, starting with a sore throat, aches, coughing, and running a fever over 101.5, I took him right into emergency. He was treated with iv fluids, pain medication, and was there most of the night.

I was treated as well, because we are both in high risk groups...he as a child, and me, as a person suffering from other medical issues. Influenza is nothing to take lightly...

I would unpack that computer, and enjoy it.

mommyofsix 03-17-2011 10:41 PM

Re: Worrying about H1N1 Infection
Yes I realize that much time has passed since H1N1 struck fear around - then was dismissed nearly as quickly. I have read much against vacinations and would like to offer a first hand story. I would have climbed the tallest mountian, swam the deepest sea and walked through the hottest desert to get the h1n1 vaccine for my little girl before she got it. she was 11 at the time and even after having been a very tiny premie (1lb 6 ounces) she had grown into a strong healthy sixth grader. late in September of 2009 she devloped a fever aches and a cough. She had been home from school for five days and had been to the Dr. who said that there was a virus going around and it took at least five days to run its course - the night of the forth day she moved from the couch to her bed and less than one hour later - I went into check on her and she was blue! by the time we got to the er her sats. were in the 40's. Things just went from bad to worse - soon she was on a ventalator - then that was not enough - she spent two and a half weeks on ECMO - much like bypass during heart surgery - for two and a half weeks no one gave her much of a chance of surviving - much less thriving as before. None of them knew my little girl and how tough and brave she is - The two things I learned for all of this??????? 1. Get the immunization I wish that it had been available before my daughter got sick. And 2. Do not ever ever ever give up - fighters win

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