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:2/12/2016)... PITTSBURGH, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... space heaters. , This winter the West Penn Burn Center, part of ... Fire Company #1, to bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Jones Agency, a family owned insurance company ... launching a cooperative charity drive with the Tarrant Area Food Bank in the hopes ... and families in need, the Tarrant County Food Bank offers hope and security to ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Young Asset ... celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in their community enrichment program. ... Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted at: http://artexpressioninc.org/ . ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... For Coast Dental ... Suzan Sweeney, RDH, and dental assistant Terrell Moore shortly before 7 a.m. to volunteer ... of dental professionals, donating their time and skills to help hundreds of uninsured and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Nearly every health website ... health. These articles generally list between five and 15 foods that should be ... every one of these lists and believes that nutritious eye healthy foods are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Ungarn, February 12, 2016 ... das sich auf den ungedeckten medizinischen Bedarf ... positive Ergebnisse seines klinischen Forschungsprogramms bekannt. Das ... beschäftigt, ergab Verbesserungen ihrer respiratorischen Funktionen und ... ltd , ein Medizintechnikunternehmen, das sich auf ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 11, 2016 PRO-DEX, INC. (NasdaqCM: ... quarter ended December 31, 2015. The Company also filed its ... fiscal year 2016 with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. ... December 31, 2015 --> --> ... 2015 increased $2.6 million, or 95%, to $5.4 million from ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016   Health 2.0 , the ... health technologies, announced today " 10 Year Global Retrospective ... tech over the past ten years.   ... decade, Health 2.0 has served as the preeminent thought-leader ... with thousands of technologies, companies, innovators, and patient-activists through ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: