Monday, January 03, 2011
Absolute Humidity Governs Seasonal Flu Patterns In Winter!
It has been long known that the Flu Survival and Flu Transmission is related to humidity. It seems now that the lesser the humidity, absolute humidity, leading to lesser water vapors in the air, flu thrives. The relative humidity is a ever changing number which depends on the temperature has been an unreliable indicator for providing data for the study of flu.
National Institute of Health, NIH, supported disease modeling research team analyzed 30 years of flu and weather data and built a computer model that showed the patterns of how the seasonal flu spread.
Using absolute humidity, "we found that we could reproduce the seasonal cycle of influenza very nicely in basically the whole country. The flu virus survived longer and transmitted more easily from person to person in the low absolute humidity typical of U.S. winters. It didn't live as long and had more trouble transmitting in the high absolute humidity typical of summers " says Oregon State University climatologist Jeffrey Shaman one of the people who led the research team.
But just using humidifiers will not prevent people from getting flu, unless there is a humidifier large enough to humidify the whole continent, but then it might turn into a giant snow machine.
So the best prevention against flu is vaccination!