Spreading the Flu is a Girl and Boy ThingMadeline Holler
School administrators are trying to figure out the best approach to preventing a school-wide flu pandemic. Closing school, as all families with school-age kids on the East Coast, Midwest, Upper Midwest … oh, yes, even in the South know, can put families in a bind and wreak havoc on curriculum.
So, researchers have become very interested, since the H1N1 outbreak two years ago, in knowing how flu spreads.
A new study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes a boy who contracts the flu doesn’t put all of his classmates at equal risk.
Instead, the boys in the class are most vulnerable.
Same thing with girls. If your daughter’s best girlfriend has the flu, you’ll want to watch out.
The Los Angeles Times reports this on the study:
Children are about three times more likely to pass the flu to children of the same gender, the researchers found. That’s probably because boys tend to mix with boys and girls with girls. Transmission rates were five times higher between classmates compared with children in a different class but in the same grade. Children ages 6 to 10 had the highest infection rate, followed by children age 5 and younger.
Social networks can prevent — and spread — the sometimes deadly flu virus.
Still, even if a boy in first grade gets the flu, have your six-year-old daughter wash her hands anyway.