Study: Just Breathing May Be Enough To Spread The Flu

If you thought washing your hands often, and always covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing is enough to stop the spread of the flu, think again. New findings from scientists at the University of Maryland School of Public Health reveals breathing may be enough to spread your flu germs. Researchers studied 142 students who had the flu during the 2012-2013 flu season to try and track how and when they expelled virus particles. They discovered nearly half of the aerosol particles collected in the absence of coughing contained the flu, which means simply breathing when you have the flu can mean you’re spreading the bug. They also found men released more flu virus particles with each cough compared to women, but that women coughed more frequently. However, the study did not track transmission, so it doesn’t prove if someone’s exhaled droplets can really pass on the virus to another person. Still, it’s best to steer clear of really sick-looking people, even if they’re not coughing. (Time