Daily Health Headlines

Typical Adult Over 30 Gets Flu Twice Every 10 Years: Study

👤by Robert Preidt 0 comments 🕔Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most people dread the flu, and many work hard to avoid it. However, a new British study finds that the typical person over 30 only gets the illness about twice every decade.

"For adults, we found that influenza infection is actually much less common than some people think," said study senior author Dr. Steven Riley, of Imperial College London.

His team published its findings March 3 in the journal PLoS Biology.

"In childhood and adolescence, [flu is] much more common, possibly because we mix more with other people," Riley said in a journal news release. For adults over 30, "the exact frequency of infection will vary depending on background levels of flu and vaccination," he added.

The study team analyzed blood samples from volunteers in southern China to assess their levels of antibodies against nine different flu strains that circulated there between 1968 and 2009.

"This is the first time anyone has reconstructed a group's history of infection from modern-day blood samples," said Dr. Adam Kucharski, who worked on the study at Imperial College London before moving to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

From the blood test results, the investigators concluded that children get the flu an average of every other year, but that flu infections become less frequent as people move through childhood and early adulthood.

After age 30, people tend to get the flu about two times every 10 years, the research team said.

"There's a lot of debate in the field as to how often people get flu, as opposed to flu-like illness caused by something else," Kucharski noted. Even though people may think they have influenza, "symptoms could sometimes be caused by common cold viruses, such as rhinovirus or coronavirus."

On the other hand, flu can sometimes be milder than many people realize. "Some people might not realize they had flu, but the infection will show up when a blood sample is subsequently tested," Kucharski said.

The researchers also developed a model of how people's immune systems change over a lifetime as they encounter different flu strains. The model adds to evidence from previous studies that the flu strains people are exposed to earlier in life trigger a stronger immune reaction than those encountered at later ages.

The study could help improve understanding of how people's immunity affects flu virus evolution, efforts to predict how the flu virus will change in the future, and the effectiveness of vaccines, according to the study authors.

"What we've done in this study is to analyze how a person's immunity builds up over a lifetime of flu infections," Kucharski said. "This information helps us understand the susceptibility of the population as a whole and how easy it is for new seasonal strains to spread through the population."

-- Robert Preidt

Article Credits / Source

Robert Preidt / HealthDay

Robert Preidt wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCE: PLoS Biology, news release, March 3, 2015

View More Articles From Robert Preidt 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Cold & Flu Articles

Are You Ready for Flu Season?

Are You Ready for Flu Season?0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- With flu season right around the corner, U.S. health officials are urging everyone to get their flu shot now so they'll be protected from the potentially serious complications of influenza. "The fact ...

Flu (Influenza)

Flu (Influenza)0

Flu Treatment What to Do if You Get the Flu If you get the flu, there are treatments that can reduce both the intensity and duration of your suffering: Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, decongestants, and antihistamines ...

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Strep Throat

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Strep Throat0

(HealthDay News) -- Strep throat is a contagious infection caused by streptococcal bacteria. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, which you must finish to make sure the infection is killed completely. The U.S. Centers for Disease ...

Do Your Part to Stop Spreading Colds and Flu

Do Your Part to Stop Spreading Colds and Flu0

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- It's easy to spread germs that cause colds, flu and other serious illnesses, including whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). That's why you need to protect yourself and take steps ...

amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)

amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)0

home / cold and flu center / cold and flu a-z list / amoxicillin index / amoxicillin (amoxil, moxatag, larotid) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. Ogbru ...

View More Cold & Flu Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!