Navigation Links
Air travel and flu: Post-9/11 restrictions delayed start of season

The onset of the flu season in the USA has been shown to be influenced by air travel. After flights were restricted following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the flu season started about two weeks later than usual.

In both the northern and southern hemispheres, influenza epidemics occur annually during the winter flu season. Given the concerns about global epidemics of serious strains of flu, such as occurred in 1918, as well as the more recent, localized outbreaks of 'bird flu', it is important to know more about how flu spreads round the world. Might airline travel play a role in the spread of the infection across large distances? If so, reducing or restricting air travel might be useful in the early stages of a serious global epidemic. Research at the Children's Hospital Boston, now published in PLoS Medicine, has investigated the effects of air travel on the annual spread of flu in the US.

The researchers analyzed government records on deaths from flu and pneumonia in cities from nine regions of the US between 1996 and 2005. For each year, they determined the time it took for the epidemic to spread across the country and the date of the national peak in flu deaths. They used government estimates of passenger air travel to explore any connection with the timing of the annual flu epidemics.

They found the usual time taken for a flu epidemic to reach peak levels across the US was about two weeks, and that the national peak date was within two days of the average date ?February 17. Flu spread more slowly in years when the number of domestic air travelers was lower. However, the most striking finding was that the peak date of the US flu season following September 11, 2001 was delayed, by 13 days, to March 2. Following the terrorist attack, there were restrictions on air travel and many people themselves chose to use other forms of transport.

The peak date then returned to February 17 over the subsequent two flu seasons, when intern ational airline travel went back to its previous level. In contrast, the researchers found no delay in the 2001?002 flu season in France, where there were no flight restrictions. Although other factors may possibly have been involved, the findings suggest that air travel affects both the peak date and the rate of spread of flu. This does not prove that travel restriction would be effective in altering the course of a flu pandemic, but it does provide evidence that air travel plays a significant role in the annual spread of flu in the United States. The findings will help plan for the next flu pandemic.


'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Related biology news :

1. Experiments provide proof of how traveling in groups protects insects
2. Experiments provide proof of how traveling in groups protects insects
3. Norovirus found to cause travelers diarrhea
4. Researchers develop new method for studying mental time travel
5. Drug resistance may travel same path as quorum sensing
6. Air travel and pandemic flu
7. Some butterflies travel farther, reproduce faster
8. Proteins important in Alzheimers, Parkinsons disease travel in the slow lane
9. Better health twice as likely for nonsmokers who live and work with smoking restrictions
10. Report that delayed motherhood decreases life expectancy of mouse offspring
11. Low oxygen likely made Great Dying worse, greatly delayed recovery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... -- The new GEZE SecuLogic access control ... system solution for all door components. It can be ... interface with integration authorization management system, and thus fulfills ... dimensions of the access control and the optimum integration ... considerable freedom of design with regard to the doors. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering ... debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing ... advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to us ... bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest ... ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: