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:5/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... After a year and a half of planning the Multiple Pathways ... The Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference was held May 2 -4, 2016 at the ... Kingdom came together to explore the many pathways individuals use to get into and sustain ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Southland Log Homes , designer and manufacturer ... barn kits, which can be found on its website at SouthlandLogHomes.com. , The designs ... and they highlight the craftsmanship of timber post and beam construction. The result ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... campaign returns for a third time to shed lights on the variety of topics ... and inspirational stories, “Nurse Appreciation” tackles why this career has gone from being in ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... readers, this installment is bolstered by inspiring human-interest stories, courtesy of awareness-driven celebrities ... within the industry, from leading advocates, associations and industry leaders such as Bioness. ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... world, this installment is bolstered by inspiring human interest stories, courtesy of leaders ... developing trends and tech within the industry, from leading advocates and associations—namely Jones ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25, 2016 According to a ... (3D, 2D, 4D), by Therapeutic Area (Oncology, Cosmeceutical/Plastic Surgery), ... (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ Clinics) - Forecast to 2021", ... Animation Market for the forecast period of 2016 to ... Million by 2021 from USD 117.3 Million in 2016, ...
(Date:5/25/2016)...  Zymo Research Corp. announced today the final ... that help researchers obtain the most accurate and ... rapid growth of the study of microbiomes has ... methods to improve the reproducibility and quality of ... every step of the measurement process including collection ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25, 2016 As illustrated by ... this month, the numbers and momentum of cannabis in ... into the billions, more research and development push the ... State of Legal Marijuana Markets Report  from from ArcView ... much of the increase in sector is attributed to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: