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:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 2016 Story Highlights: ... within the health care industry is causing providers to ... , Deloitte offers a suite of solutions for health ... efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, revenue cycle optimization ... better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  Global ... a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the ... needs, today announced the closing of its previously ... common stock, at the public offering price of ... the offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: