An alarming new report suggests that the Influenza A H3N2 virus can be spread simply by breathing.
Concerns about an influenza epidemic are growing as the H3N2 flu virus spreads farther across the United States, and a new report indicates it can be transmitted simply by breathing. While the flu virus is not airborne, being spread by droplets from a sneeze or a cough, a study published in a science journal found that people with the flu are able to breathe the virus.
The virus is expelled from the body via a breath from the nose or mouth and can stay suspended in hair for hours, allowing its transmission. Researchers found that the air in the general vicinity of patients who had the flu virus was contaminated.
Researchers baed the findings on samples that they collected from a total of 178 patients who had gotten the flu. They spent a half hour with their face near a special device meant to analyze the air, where they breathed and recited the alphabet to see if simply talking could spread the virus.