herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Teenagers, not young children, spread flu

TEENAGERS and young adults, not young children, may be mainly responsible for spreading flu bugs, new research shows.

A report in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that flu cases in Canada tended to peak in the 10-to-19 and 20-to-29 age brackets before the disease topped out in older adults or young children during flu outbreaks.

"For seasonal influenza, both the 10-19 and 20-29 year age groups peaked one week earlier than other age groups, while during the fall wave of the 2009 pandemic, infections peaked earlier among only the 10-19 year age group," wrote lead researcher Dena Schanzer, of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

"This analysis casts doubts on the hypothesis that younger children actually lead influenza epidemic waves."

Schanzer and her team collected data from positive lab tests for the flu compiled by the Canadian government.

hnews@herald.ie

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