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:2/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The California State University Institute for Palliative Care ... or interested in palliative care education and research. The Symposium, “Innovate. Investigate. Educate: ... San Diego on Sept. 28 and 29, 2017, on the campus of California State ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... The Radiology Business Management Association will select the 2017 ... Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs conference, held this year from March 5 ... awards are given out in five categories. They are:, ,     Patient ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Thinksport, the most award-winning sunscreen on ... of Marin. For the second year in a row, cyclists will stay protected ... are thrilled to provide our safe, non-toxic sunscreen to over 2,000 cycling enthusiasts ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Rare Disease Report®, which ... participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted by the Rare Disease Legislative Advocates ... a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, will be conducting interviews with patients ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... thought leadership , media relations, content marketing, social media management, corporate communications, ... clients already in the state and in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 Regulus ... the discovery and development of innovative medicines targeting microRNAs, ... year 2016 financial results on Thursday, March 2, 2017 ... a conference call and webcast on March 2, 2017 ... and full year 2016 financial results and provide a ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... The fast-growing cannabis market is expected to create ... According to the 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook, published by New ... jobs by 2020, with an implied growth rate of more ... accelerating pace of cannabis legalization is considered as the main ... will further create more business ventures and boost the economy. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 LG Innotek today announced that the company has ... its sterilization performance is 1.5 times higher than the competitor,s 45mW ... in the range of 200 -- 280nm, allowing it to be used ... their DNA. LG Innotek,s product emits UV in the range of ... Until now, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: