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:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... Ontario , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, ... management technology respectively, today announced the launch of a ... next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design ... Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors ... and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality ... 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Cell Applications, ... allow them to produce up to one billion ... lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent stem ... preparing cells and spend more time doing meaningful, ... a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: