Navigation Links
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Date:2/23/2010

Lower levels of water in cold winter air tied to more influenza, study suggests

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Rain and snow may seem like perfect incubators for the flu, but new research suggests that low humidity and unusually dry skies might be responsible for increases in influenza, such as those that occur during winter months.

Previous research has suggested that humidity is connected to seasonal epidemics of flu, but studies have usually focused on relative humidity, as opposed to absolute humidity. Relative humidity, which varies with temperature, is the ratio of water vapor content in the air to the saturating level. Absolute humidity, which is the actual level of water in the air, does not depend on temperature, but often reaches lower levels in the winter than in the summer.

"In some areas of the country, a typical summer day can have four times as much water vapor as a typical winter day -- a difference that exists both indoors and outdoors," Jeffrey Shaman, an Oregon State University atmospheric scientist and lead author of the new study, said in a news release from the Public Library of Science.

Shaman and his colleagues created a mathematical model of influenza and plugged 31 years of absolute humidity data into it. They found that influenza outbreaks in the winter often happened right after a period of unusually dry weather, according to their report published online Feb. 22 in PLoS Biology.

"This dry period is not a requirement for triggering an influenza outbreak, but it was present in 55 to 60 percent of the outbreaks we analyzed so it appears to increase the likelihood of an outbreak," Shaman said. "The virus response is almost immediate; transmission and survival rates increase and about 10 days later, the observed influenza mortality rates follow."

Irene Eckstrand, of the U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences program, explained in the news release: "The discovery of a link between influenza outbreaks and absolute humidity could have a major impact on the development of strategies for limiting the spread of infection. Understanding why outbreaks arise is an important first step toward containing or even preventing them, so it is essential for scientists to follow-up on this intriguing connection."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the flu.



-- Randy Dotinga



SOURCE: Public Library of Science, news release, Feb. 22, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Cold Weather Can Increase Heart Disease Risks
2. PartsSource Named 2007 Weatherhead 100 Award Winner
3. Spring Weather Brings Flea Season
4. New Anti-Cellulite Treatment Prepares Women for Warmer Weather
5. emebaVet Adds Pet Friendly Forecast From the Weather Channel
6. Warmer Weather Reminds Cat Owners to Protect Against Worms
7. Weather, stomach bugs and climate change: Refining the model
8. Hot Weather Brings Health Risks for Older Illinoisans
9. New Anti-Cellulite Treatment Prepares Women for Warmer Weather and Beyond
10. UCAR weather forecasts aim to reduce African meningitis epidemics
11. Cold Weather Could Spell Bad News for Older Residents in Illinois
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... Cortland, OH (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... in Cortland, OH, can now meet with Dr. Joseph Bedich for a consultation, ... smiles while simultaneously improving their oral health and functionality. , Dr. Bedich ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... in which the endometrial lining of the uterus spreads into the pelvic ... experiencing painful intercourse, painful periods, pelvic pain, or irregular bleeding may have ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Massapequa Park, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, ... ... today announced the practice is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients ... the context of the patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Technique, technique, technique – with ... either lifting weights for strength training and exercise or simply lifting heavy objects, advises ... “Body position is everything,” Dr. Chang says. “Improper technique in lifting anything heavy or ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network and the Alexis Joy ... Women’s Behavioral Health at West Penn Hospital , a unique facility that will ... pregnancy-related depression. Construction of the Center is underway with a scheduled opening in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/8/2017)...  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., has completed its ... health care service center company based in ... relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and health ... WRB will join Envoy Health Management, LLC , ... biotech firms, and other service companies. Together, WRB and ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... is Stroke Awareness Month and Omron Healthcare is reminding ... prevent a stroke: monitor and manage your blood pressure. ... undetected and uncontrolled hypertension is a leading risk factor ... personal heart health technology, recently evolved its mission to ... and is advancing a national public education effort to ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  Fortuna Fix Inc. (" Fortuna ... the first to eliminate the need for embryonic and fetal ... treat neurodegenerative diseases. Fortuna announced today ... Michael Fehlings , MD, PhD; Father Kevin FitzGerald ... MPH; and Professor James Giordano , PhD. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: