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Flu Rides the Subway, Too

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Flu spreads like wildfire in confined spaces -- and that includes subways, a new British study finds.

The longer your ride and the more stations you encounter during your daily commute, the higher your odds of getting sick, the researchers found.

University of Bristol researcher Lara Gosce and colleagues found fewer cases of flu in places where people did not rely as much on public transportation or had shorter commutes with fewer stops.

For example, infection rates among people in one town who had to change subway lines at a crowded station were nearly triple those of commuters from a nearby town who mostly took direct trains, the findings showed.

Gosce said public health officials should use the findings to understand the role public transportation and major events can play in spreading disease and to urge people to avoid crowds during disease epidemics.

The report was published recently in the journal Environmental Health.

More information

For more about flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCE: University of Bristol, news release, December 2018

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