Navigation Links
Low Humidity Levels Help Flu Germs Spread
Date:2/10/2009

Finding explains why infection more common in winter months

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Flu viruses survive longer and are more easily transmitted when humidity levels are low, such as in the peak flu months of January and February, Oregon researchers say.

A link between humidity and flu prevalence and transmission has long been suspected, but the focus has been on relative humidity, not absolute humidity, according to background information in an Oregon State University (OSU) news release. Relative humidity is the ratio of air water vapor content to the saturating level, which varies with temperature. Absolute humidity refers to the actual amount of water in the air, irrespective of temperature.

In this new study, the Oregon team re-analyzed data from a 2007 Mount Sinai School of Medicine study that identified a weak relationship between flu transmission and relative humidity. The re-analysis revealed a strong link between absolute humidity and flu virus survival and transmission.

"The correlations were surprisingly strong. When absolute humidity is low, influenza virus survival is prolonged, and transmission rates go up," study author Jeffrey Shaman, an atmospheric scientist at OSU who specializes in ties between climate and disease transmission, said in the news release.

Shaman and colleague Melvin Kohn, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Department of Health Services, concluded that relative humidity explains only about 36 percent of flu virus survival and 12 percent of transmission, while absolute humidity explains 90 percent of flu virus survival and 50 percent of transmission.

Their findings were published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"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," Shaman said. "Consequently, outbreaks of influenza typically occur in winter when low absolute humidity conditions strongly favor influenza survival and transmission."

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers flu prevention tips.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Oregon State University, news release, Feb. 9, 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Water-Based Acrylic Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive Defeats Heat and Humidity Issue
2. Pathologically elevated blood fat levels in obesity: Researchers discover molecular causes
3. HPV18 DNA levels are not prognostic for precancerous cervical lesions
4. New Study: Higher DHA Levels Improve Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Premature Girls
5. Children with inflammatory bowel disease have surprisingly high folate levels, study finds
6. Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Have Surprisingly High Folate Levels, Study Finds
7. Women in Coastal Areas Have Higher Mercury Levels
8. Cholesterol Levels May Not Measure Cardiac Risk
9. Most heart attack patients cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk
10. High insulin levels raise risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women
11. Government at all Levels Will Continue to Spend on Essential Services and Invest in the Future, According to Onvia Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Low Humidity Levels Help Flu Germs Spread
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s ... poses a problem. Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , ... medication in darkness or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with ... for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... second annual Holly Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items ... myriad of personalized and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which ... current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... WASHINGTON , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen ... to advance the use of wearable and home sensors ... brain disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused ... populations, will provide an affordable analytical system to record ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader ... and immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax ... of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided ... access to enabling technologies to the new precision ... lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Mich. , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company ... destruction of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... PhD ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: