Gross! Flu Travels on Tiniest Particles Too

Small fluid droplets exhaled during normal breathing can still carry the flu virus, according to recent research covered in Smithsonian Magazine. It's long been accepted that sneezing and coughing, which emit large droplets of fluid, are routes to spread the illness. However, flu virus was detected in almost half of fine aerosol particles collected from people infected with flu in the study. Fine particles are especially problematic because they can linger in the air longer than can large particles. In addition, these potentially infectious particles are being generated in the early days of an infection, before people feel bad enough to stay home. And possibly worse, these microparticles can even pass through surgical face masks. Short story: encourage sick people to stay home as soon as they feel any symptoms. Facilitate hand washing. And promote good ventilation, among other flu prevention practices in your facilities. Stay healthy! 

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