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:5/2/2016)... ... ... One of Hollywood’s best kept secrets for non-invasive fat reduction, CoolSculpting , ... “Patients with busy lives want noninvasive options for fat removal, where they can come ... work without having to wear recovery garments or take time off work or activity,” ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Advanced Spine & Sport Medical ... Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. “These are becoming the ‘go-to’ treatment option for ... Advanced Spine & Sport Medical. “We are very excited to be able to ...
(Date:5/1/2016)... ... , ... ProBrand Reveal Volume 2 is a set of versatile and smooth logo reveals built ... users can easily create a unique logo reveal in just a matter of minutes. Custom ... these title presets to add a uniquely animated logo to any photos or videos. , ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Create an abstract shape animation ... and manipulate three-dimensional shapes with ease all within Apple Motion . Users ... polygon texture animation, opacity texture animation, overall shape texture displacement, twist, camera controls, ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Dr. Trevor Gardner, President ... today signed a multifaceted agreement which will allow for the research and development ... of Natural and Applied Sciences, Allied Health and Nursing will work together to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... May 2, 2016 The ... USD 11.1 billion by 2024, according to a ... Major drivers of the sonography market include expanding ... government recommendations for periodic ultrasound screenings of the ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) High Intensity ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... 29, 2016  In the next ten years, ... from systems dependent on CRTs monitors to those reliant ... CRT Medical monitors and will automatically sync to ... of foreseeable benefits to this technological advancement, it ... have to be replaced in order to be ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ReportsnReports.com adds "Pulmonary Arterial ... report that provides an overview of the PAH ... stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, mechanism of ... type, along with latest updates, and featured news ... involved in the therapeutic development for Pulmonary Arterial ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: