The Next Flu Pandemic Will Appear When You Least Expect the item

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A typist wearing a mask to protect by the Spanish influenza in 1918. The great flu pandemics of history were first detected between late March as well as early July, not the midwinter flu season.

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If a brand-new flu pandemic emerges, the item may be easy to spot. The epidemic is usually most likely to appear in spring or summer, researchers have found — not within the midwinter depths of the flu season.

Normally flu strikes in winter, when children are crowded into classrooms as well as the air is usually cold as well as dry — ideal for transmitting the influenza virus. although historically, in which has not been true of the great flu epidemics.

A half-dozen flu pandemics — including those of 1889, 1918 (the Spanish Flu) as well as 2009 (the swine flu) — were all first detected between late March as well as late July, according to a study published recently in PLOS Computational Biology by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin as well as the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Wash.

A person infected with the flu appears to be protected briefly against infection with any various other flu virus, even genetically different ones, said Spencer J. Fox, a graduate student in infectious disease modeling at the University of Texas at Austin as well as an author of the paper.

in which protection lasts about six weeks, Mr. Fox said. Even a highly infectious flu virus could be temporarily stymied in winter if the seasonal flu had already infected much of the population.

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