Scientists have learned how public transportation affects the spread of influenza and SARS

Although the connection of colds, with regular travel by public transport is widely acknowledged, the scientific evidence as they affect the spread of airborne infections, were never presented.

A new study by the London underground, published in Environmental Health, confirmed the existence of this connection. This will contribute to the justification of measures to control the spread of infectious diseases.

Comparing the routing information and statistical data on respiratory viral infections (ARVI) and influenza, Dr. Lara Gosce (Lara Gosc) and Dr. Anders Johansson (Anders Johansson) from the University of Bristol (University of Bristol) discovered a higher level of respiratory infections in those Londoners who make a longer trip to the metro through a more loaded terminals.

Lara Gosce explained: higher rates of SARS can be seen in the areas served by a small number of subway lines: passengers who start their journey in these regions, usually have to change lines once or several times in crowded places such as kings Cross in order to reach their final destination. On the other hand, a lower incidence of influenza observed in areas where the population either does not use public transport as their main mode of transport for travel to work, or in the areas served by a large number of subway lines, which ensures a faster trip with fewer stops and contacts with fewer people.

For example, it was found that the rate of infection among the residents of Islington, often pereshagivaete to other branches in a crowded kings Cross St Pancreas, was almost three times higher than among passengers from Kensington, which mainly go straight trains.

The researchers hope that these results will serve as a basis of state policy in the sphere of prevention of epidemics. Consider the role of public transport and crowded events in the spread of the epidemic, and to encourage the finding of such conditions during epidemics.

These results are preliminary due to the limitations of the dataset. Empirical research that combines aerobiologically and pedestrian modelling will be important to improve the accuracy of the models and development of non-pharmaceutical control strategies aimed at reducing the threshold density to minimize the number of infections and optimum ventilation in different crowded environments, said Lara Gosce.

Valeria SEMA