Obesity’s Effect On Flu And You
The observation that obesity is linked to flu complications and the risk of hospitalization has long been recognized. New research indicates that obese adults shed the flu virus for longer than those who aren’t obese, raising the risk of spreading it to others. These findings come from a University of Michigan School of Public Health study involving 1,783 people in 320 households in Managua, Nicaragua for three flu seasons. The investigators found that obese individuals infected with the influenza A virus shed it 42 percent longer than non-obese adults infected with the same strain of flu. In addition, infected obese adults who were only mildly ill or had no flu symptoms shed the virus for 104 percent longer than non-obese adults with flu, the researchers reported. They saw no such effects in obese children. The Michigan team is now investigating how infectious the flu virus being shed is. For reasons that are unclear, the study revealed no association between obesity and shedding of influenza B virus, which typically causes less serious illness in adults, the researchers wrote.
Aubree Gordon et al, “Obesity Increases the Duration of Influenza A Virus Shedding in Adults.” The Journal of Infectious Diseases, August 2, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiy370
Also in this week’s bulletin:
- Too Much Time Online Cuts Sleep
- Walking And Talking Could Get You Hurt
- Recipe: Greek Salad For A Light Dinner Idea