A new study lead by researchers from the University of Maryland has revealed that ‘just breathing’ is enough to spread the flu.
The common belief until now has been that the flu is spread through coughs and sneezes from an infected individual, as well as through touching contaminated surfaces.
However, the study has revealed that just by breathing people with the flu can release the virus into the air around them.
“People with flu generate infectious aerosols even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness,” said Dr. Donald Milton, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
“So when someone is coming down with influenza, they should go home and not remain in the workplace and infect others.”
Researchers believe their findings could be used to improve ventilation systems, to help reduce transmission risks in offices as well as public transport.
There were 217,000 recorded cases of the flu in Australia last year, more than double the 2015 record of 100,000. The Federal Government is already developing two stronger vaccines for next flu season in response to poorer than expected results among over 65s.
Were you aware that flu is spread just by breathing? Should there be quarantines placed on people with the flu?