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Obesity and Influenza A

Posted by on August 9th, 2018

“Obesity” via MedlinePlus, November 29, 2016, Public Domain.

At first glance, obesity and Influenza A seem to have no correlation.  A new study with multiple cohorts found that obesity prolongs the length influenza A stay in the body.  Participating institutions include:

Influenza A is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that is highly contagious.  Symptoms last for approximately 4-7 days and typically include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and general body aches.  The flu also causes those with chronic health conditions to experience an exacerbation in the symptoms associated with that condition.  There is also a risk for complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis, and seizures.

Over 3 flu seasons, researchers monitored 320 households in Nicaragua.  Their findings show that it took those who are obese 1.6 days longer to shed the virus compared to those who are not obese.  They suggested that this could be to the inflammation that obesity causes.  They plan to continue to research this topic and began to examine if reducing obesity could be a potential deterrent in future spread of disease.

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