Flu is spread by breath, not just coughing and sneezing, an alarming new study warns.
The CDC warns people to wash their hands and cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze to avoid spreading their virus.
However, researchers at the University of Maryland say that may not be enough.
Analyzing 142 flu patients, they found infectious virus in the air they exhaled, particularly in the first few days they showed symptoms.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, lead author Dr Donald Milton said he urges anyone to stay home if they have a fever, cough and sore throat and ‘feel pretty lousy’.
Flu could spread through breathing, not just coughing and sneezing, a study found (file image)
‘Influenza comes on hard and fast and you are probably infectious right then,’ he said.
‘I would like people in my work place who are coming down with the flu to please go home and not infect me.’
Based on previous studies, Dr Milton said, the virus lingers ‘hours’ in the air.
‘Staying home could make a real difference.’
The study, released today, comes amid a fierce flu season, with more than 100 Americans and 100 Brits killed by the H3N2 strain, a notoriously aggressive type of influenza.
Dr Milton’s study was carried out in 2012, another aggressive H3N2 year, but not as deadly as 2017/18 is shaping up to be.
They gathered 142 students who had been diagnosed with influenza and monitored them for three days after the onset of symptoms……more here