Flu spreads faster in schools than rumors about a pop quiz. But science is revealing more about how germs jump from child to child and strategies that might prevent larger flu outbreaks.
The latest science shows that flu predominantly spreads from boys to other boys and from girls to other girls. The study, conducted by a consortium of researchers that included experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found that flu transmission is more intensive within students sitting in the same class. But sitting next to someone with the flu doesn't, in itself, increase one's risk, according to Los Angeles Times.
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, Daily Health Report reports.