A new study may prove just how the flu virus (both swine flu and ‘regular’ flu) is passed from child to child or person to person.
When looking at how children became infected throughout the 2009 swine flu scare, researchers found that most often, boys pass the flu virus to other boys, and girls typically pass the virus to other girls.
Researchers also found that risks of getting the flu are increased if a child in the same class has the virus, but sitting next to a person specifically does not drastically increase risks.
For the study, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Imperial College London assessed how social interaction affects the transmission of the swine flu virus (H1N1) throughout a Pennsylvania elementary school.
The study found that the likelihood of same-gender flu transmission is nearly triple that of passing the virus to a person of opposite gender.
Additionally, passing the virus to someone in the same class is nearly five times as likely than passing it to a child in a different classroom.
Some of the tools used by researchers were attendance sheets and seating charts.
This study may be effective at preventing widespread virus outbreaks from happening in the future, experts suggest.
The study can be found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.