A preprint now available describes results from a study of 142 people from the UMD College Park campus community who were diagnosed with influenza in 2012-13. The average case shed about 38,000 viruses into airborne droplets every 30 minutes. Cases rarely sneezed and there was no association of sneezing with shedding virus. And, even though the more cases coughed the more virus they shed into very small droplets, cases who didn’t cough at all shed up to 1,000 viruses into airborne droplets in 30-min.
This earlier study paved the way for the C.A.T.C.H. – the virus study this year an last year’s Prometheus@UMD. These new studies will help us build a better understanding of how influenza and other respiratory viruses are transmitted, how to stay healthy, and how to build a healthier environment.
The full preprint is available from BioRxiv.