Navigation Links
Behavior change may have the greatest influence on waves of influenza outbreak: McMaster study

Hamilton, ON (July 9, 2013) - Three waves of the deadliest influenza pandemic in history, known as the Spanish flu, hit England and Wales in 1918, just as World War 1 was coming to an end.

Why flu arrives in multiple waves like this is the focus of a study by McMaster University researchers who discovered three contributing factors: the closing and opening of schools, temperature changes and most importantly changes in human behavior.

"We found all three factors were important in 1918 but that behavioural responses had the largest effect," said David Earn, an investigator with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, and a professor in McMaster's Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The study appears in the July 10 online issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

The researchers did not measure behavioural change directly; instead, their model showed that the three waves could only be explained if people reduced infectious contact rates when recent influenza mortality was high. Possible mechanisms include avoiding large gatherings, keeping distance from other people, and hand-washing.

The study's findings are significant as global health officials keep watch on an emerging virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which is said to be more deadly than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and has already spread from Saudi Arabia to France, Germany, Italy and Britain. Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, has called MERS a "threat to the entire world".

To investigate factors underlying the three-wave shape of the 1918 influenza epidemic, McMaster researchers developed what they describe as a simple epidemic model. It incorporates three factors in addition to natural disease spread: school terms, temperature changes during an outbreak and changes in human behavior.

To collect information, researchers scoured available historical documents and collected data about weekly influenza deaths.

The paper concludes that behavioral changes of people, temperature trends and school closure all contributed to the three-wave mortality patterns in the UK during the 1918 influenza pandemic with behavioral changes having the greatest effect.

Earn conducted the study with his colleague Dr. Jonathan Dushoff, associate professor, Department on Biology, and researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Queen's University and the University of Victoria.


Contact: Veronica McGuire
McMaster University

Related medicine news :

1. After the shooting, political violence lives on in kids behavior problems
2. Dog Behavioral Expert Talks on Current Research in OCD Dogs
3. Scientists at UMass Medical School identify neurons that control feeding behavior in Drosophila
4. Deep Brain Stimulation Could Help Change Eating Behaviors in Morbidly Obese Patients
5. hCGTreatments / Diet Doc hCG Diets & Weight Loss Plans Announce New Programs That Create Positive Changes in Behavior and Lead to Best Weight Loss
6. Predicting risky sexual behavior
7. Passages Malibu Celebrates National Prevention Week and Promotes Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Awareness
8. Poor Parenting Styles Linked to Bullying Behavior in Kids
9. Porn Use Has Small Effect on Sexual Behavior, Study Finds
10. Sexually explicit material affects behavior in young people less than thought
11. Anti-smoking ads with strong arguments, not flashy editing, trigger part of brain involving behavior change
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality ... sources, yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according ... (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply is ... of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that have ... Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for ... Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR ... care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research and ... Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... for Companion Diagnostics The World Market for ... personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the ... Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical ... Preservative), Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast ... The global pharmaceutical excipients ... 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: