Obese flu sufferers are likely to be contagious for longer, study finds

Another reason to give yourself enough time to fully recover [Photo: Pexels]
Another reason to give yourself enough time to fully recover [Photo: Pexels]

When a colleague returns to work after a bout of the flu, you pray that they’re not still contagious.

Because even when you’re feeling well enough to function again, viruses can still linger and infect those that come into contact with its carrier.

And according to new research published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, they can linger for longer in certain people.

Apparently, obese flu sufferers stay contagious for longer than their thinner counterparts.

Researchers from the University of Michigan analysed 1,800 adults and children in 320 Nicaraguan households from 2015 to 2017, observing the effect of obesity on the duration of viral shedding.

Better stay cosy this winter [Photo: Pexels]
Better stay cosy this winter [Photo: Pexels]

It found that obese adults with flu symptoms shed the virus for 42% longer than adults who weren’t obese.

But the results also revealed that obese participants with the flu that had mild or no symptoms shed the virus for 104% longer.

Assistant professor of epidemiology Dr Aubree Gordon of the University of Michigan School of Public Health told The Telegraph: “This is the first real evidence that obesity might impact more than just disease severity.

“It might directly impact transmission as well.”

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