Navigation Links
Research Reveals Why Flu Peaks in Certain Seasons
Date:12/28/2012

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Ever wonder why the flu is seasonal?

According to new research, widespread transmission of the virus has to do with humidity levels. The research was published in a recent issue of the journal PLoS One.

In temperate regions, such as North America and Europe, flu peaks during the winter season, when humidity is low. But in some tropical regions, influenza thrives during the rainy season, noted the researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg.

After measuring the influenza A virus survival rate at different humidity levels, the researchers concluded that flu is more common in winter months because the virus's viability in mucus increases when the relative humidity is below 50 percent. The virus, however, also thrives when the humidity is close to 100 percent, they found.

"We added flu viruses to droplets of simulated respiratory fluid and to actual human mucus and then measured what fraction survived after exposure to low, medium and high relative humidities," Linsey Marr, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, said in a university news release.

When the humidity is low indoors in the winter, the researchers explained, respiratory droplets evaporate completely. Under these dry conditions, the virus is better able to survive.

When the humidity rises to moderate levels, however, droplets do not evaporate completely so the virus remains exposed to higher levels of chemicals and is less able to infect cells.

The researchers concluded that humidity affects the concentrations of salts and proteins in respiratory droplets, which affects the survival of the flu virus. That's why flu is seasonal, they reasoned.

In the United States, flu season can start as early as October and continue until late May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on seasonal flu.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, news release, December 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
2. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
3. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
4. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
5. Sexually abused boys at risk for more unsafe sex: UBC research
6. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
7. LSUHSC research finds HPV-related head & neck cancers rising, highest in middle-aged white men
8. Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products
9. Presidential keynote address and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting
10. Scientific session and new research highlights
11. NJ stroke researchers report advances in spatial neglect research at AAN Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Research Reveals Why Flu Peaks in Certain Seasons
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... businesses of the greater Fort Collins area, has unveiled a collaboration with nonprofit ... involvement program. Donations to this worthy cause may now be made at ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... After raising more ... FaceCradle , the most-funded travel pillow in crowdfunding history, has established a ... its wildly popular travel innovation to Americans. , “We’re excited to be operating on ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ?This conference will prominently feature 150+ Hospital and Health System ... AMN Healthcare: Susan Salka , 43rd President of the United States of America: ... My Life In and Out of the Ring: Sugar Ray Leonard , JD, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Sharon Kleyne, host of the nationally syndicated ... Health on VoiceAmerica, recently talked on her program about how she is looking forward ... remind listeners of an important distinction. World Water Day, Kleyne pointed out, is an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Raton, FL (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 ... ... of dietary supplements that help improve all aspects of people’s health and nutrition, ... website for nutritional products. , Natural Subsistence develops nutritional supplements that help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)...  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted ... adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with ... not received prior chemotherapy. This is the first FDA-approved ... skin cancer. "While skin cancer is one ... form called Merkel cell cancer have not had an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... AUSTIN, Texas , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... www.digitalpharmacist.com ), a rapidly growing digital ... PocketRx, a mobile app that allows patients to ... including multi-store locations such as Denver Health Pharmacy, ... app. The acquisition helps Digital Pharmacist accelerate its ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Interpace Diagnostics Group, ... a fully integrated commercial company that provides clinically ... announced that it has entered into agreements to ... RedPath Shareholders ("RedPath") and concurrently terminate its royalty ... outstanding secured debt to RedPath amounting to $9.34 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: