bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
Khresmoi - new !
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2019: S A J J M A M F J
2018: D N O S

 
  Other news for:
Influenza
Viruses
 Resources from HONselect
Drier Winter Air May Propel Flu's Spread

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ever wonder why the flu rarely strikes in the summer?

New research offers an explanation: That dry air your heating system sends throughout your home in the winter weakens your immune system, making you a prime target for viral infection.

Cold temperatures and low humidity were known to increase transmission of flu viruses, but exactly how low humidity affects the immune system's defenses against the flu wasn't well understood.

In this study, Yale University researchers used mice that were genetically modified to resemble the way humans resist viral infections.

The mice were kept in chambers of equal temperature, but with either low or normal humidity, and exposed to the influenza A virus.

Low humidity hindered the immune response of the mice in three ways, according to the study published May 13 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It prevented hair-like structures (cilia) in airways from removing viral particles and mucus. It also lowered the ability of airway cells to repair damage caused by the flu virus in the lungs.

Low humidity also compromised an immune defense system involving interferons, proteins released by virus-infected cells to alert neighboring cells to the viral threat.

The findings help explain why more people get the flu when the air is dry, the study authors said.

"It's well known that where humidity drops, a spike in flu incidence and [flu-related death] occurs. If our findings in mice hold up in humans, our study provides a possible mechanism underlying this seasonal nature of flu disease," team leader Akiko Iwasaki said in a news release from Yale, where she is a professor of immunobiology.

While humidity isn't the only factor in the spread of the flu, it's an important one that needs to be considered during the winter, according to the researchers.

Increasing moisture levels in the air with humidifiers at home, and in school, work and hospital environments could reduce flu symptoms and speed recovery, they suggested.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the flu.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, May 13, 2019

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=746245

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Cells
Infection
Research Personnel
Immune System
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact