Alarming new study warns flu can spread by breathing

Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough isn't going to cut it anymore, researchers say

Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered the flu can spread just by breathing, the Daily Mail reported.

It is public knowledge that people should cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough in order to prevent the virus from spreading. But a new study warns this may not be enough.

Researchers came to this conclusion after examining 142 people with the flu. In order to monitor their natural breathing, each participant was placed in a contained room. They found that the infectious virus was spreading in the air as they exhaled.

Lead author of the study Dr Donald Milton, told the Daily Mail the virus can linger in the air for “hours".

"Influenza comes on hard and fast and you are probably infectious right then," he is quoted as saying in the report. Adding, "I would like people in my work place who are coming down with the flu to please go home and not infect me."

He urges people who are sick with the flu to stay home so they don't infect others. The team hopes their alarming findings help officials gain a better understanding about how the flu really spreads and produce a more effective vaccine in the future.

Health officials are also encouraging people to get their flu shot.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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