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Absolute humidity and the seasonal onset of influenza in the continental United States

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/mc87pr95q

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  • Corrections 18 Mar 2010: Shaman J, Pitzer VE, Viboud C, Grenfell BT, Lipsitch M (2010) Correction: Absolute Humidity and the Seasonal Onset of Influenza in the Continental United States. PLOS Biology 8(3): 10.1371/annotation/35686514-b7a9-4f65-9663-7baefc0d63c0. 15 Mar 2010: Shaman J, Pitzer VE, Viboud C, Grenfell BT, Lipsitch M (2010) Correction: Absolute Humidity and the Seasonal Onset of Influenza in the Continental United States. PLOS Biology 8(3): 10.1371/annotation/9ddc5251-72a1-4eba-ae35-9ab04488527b.
  • Much of the observed wintertime increase of mortality in temperate regions is attributed to seasonal influenza. A recent reanalysis of laboratory experiments indicates that absolute humidity strongly modulates the airborne survival and transmission of the influenza virus. Here, we extend these findings to the human population level, showing that the onset of increased wintertime influenza-related mortality in the United States is associated with anomalously low absolute humidity levels during the prior weeks. We then use an epidemiological model, in which observed absolute humidity conditions temper influenza transmission rates, to successfully simulate the seasonal cycle of observed influenza-related mortality. The model results indicate that direct modulation of influenza transmissibility by absolute humidity alone is sufficient to produce this observed seasonality. These findings provide epidemiological support for the hypothesis that absolute humidity drives seasonal variations of influenza transmission in temperate regions.
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  • Shaman, J., Pitzer, V. E., Viboud, C., Grenfell, B. T., & Lipsitch, M. (2010). Absolute humidity and the seasonal onset of influenza in the continental United States. PLoS Biology, 8(2). doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000316
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  • 8
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  • 2
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  • US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study through cooperative agreements 5UO1GM076497 (ML) and 1U54GM088588 (ML and JS).VEP and BG were supported by NIH grant R01GM083983-01, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the RAPIDD program of the Science and Technology Directorate, US Department of Homeland Security and the Fogarty International Center, NIH.
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