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)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From ... every danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the ... is a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Orleans, LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... centers in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in ... will occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), ... of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides ... while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, ... post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an ... has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined ... Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), ... which included the unveiling of new signage at its ... well as at a few other company-owned facilities across ... to patients, some of whom will begin to see ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound ... in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug ... for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage ... set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people ... Learn more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal ... wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients ... a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for ... analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: