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:8/23/2017)... , ... August 23, 2017 , ... ... to support long-term strategic growth plans, announcing the hiring of Kevin Keelan as ... technology consultant and seasoned sales manager, Keelan will be working with Virsys12 senior ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... accessible luxurious collection of unique masks and serums that perfectly fuse the beauty ... care advancements, at the 2017 Indie Beauty Expo on August 23rd & 24th ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... pleased to announce the addition of Zack Tisch as the firm’s new Consulting ... KLAS-ranked healthcare IT consulting firm’s national accounts, from assisting clients with initial vendor ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... Glass is new to the Texas market, but is proudly managed by widely recognized All ... models, in Grand Prairie, TX, located in the center of the DFW Metroplex, the fourth ... for the past 40 years with 32 convenient locations in Texas, Nevada and California resulting ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... “Covert Awakening” is the creation of published author, Julianne Hale, a consultant ... as a policy and counter-terrorism expert focusing on the Near East region. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/18/2017)... SEATTLE , Aug. 18, 2017  Nortis today ... provide funding for the third year of a Small ... the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).?  ... Nortis ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)...   Mostyn Law and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center ... . The Mostyn Law family has had 3 members ... why Mostyn Law is partnering with Gulf Coast Regional ... appreciation. Blood supplies are running low. Gulf Coast Regional ... needs in August. That is why the blood center reached out ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Inc. announced today that its fully owned USA ... York City Office in Yonkers, New York ... (TWO 2 ) homecare therapy. This new East Coast location has ... under the company,s DMEPOS accreditation for Home/Durable Medical Equipment Services. ... Advanced Oxygen Therapy Inc. New ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: