Flu Now Persists Year Round in America’s Urban Populations

Dr. Zachary Lutsky is a respected physician in Southern California who has extensive experience in meeting the needs of trauma patients. Among Dr. Zachary Lutsky’s areas of expertise are emergency medicine and he also has a particular interest in flu epidemics.

An article published in Science last year drew attention to the way in which the flu has adapted in recent decades in dense urban areas of the United States. In normal situations, the flu only occurs in cold and dry seasons, as the virus is often spread via coughing or sneezing and cannot survive long in warmer, more humid environments.

Researchers recently found that, with more and more people living in close proximity, natural flu regulation has stopped functioning as it once did. When the virus only needs to journey a few inches to the next person, it never loses the ability to spread, even during hotter months. At the same time, seasonal winter spikes are not as severe or widespread, because more people have encountered and successfully fought off the virus.

What the study points to is a need to reshape health workers’ strategies for controlling the flu in areas where it persists year round.

Advertisements