Aussie flu spread by simply breathing - The best way to avoid infection revealed

Aussie flu has spread across the UK, and 485 people have been hospitalised by the deadly viral infection since the beginning of October.

While washing your hands regularly and avoiding crowded areas may help to lower your risk of infection, spreading the virus may be inevitable, researchers from the University of Maryland have claimed.

Flu can be spread by simply breathing, they found, as the infected can contaminate the air around them without sneezing or coughing.

The deadly Australian flu virus, influenza A(H3N2) has been recorded in all postcodes of the UK, and can lead to life-threatening complications, including pneumonia.

“We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,” said lead researcher of the report, Dr Donald Milton.

“People with flu generate infectious aerosols [tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time] even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness.

“So, when someone is coming down with influenza, they should go home and not remain in the workplace and infect others.”

The researchers collected air samples of exhaled breath from 142 people with confirmed flu infection. They also researched the air around them after speaking, spontaneous coughing and sneezing.

Almost half of all air samples contained the flu virus, the scientists revealed.

The best way to prevent flu infection is to complete avoid people altogether, they concluded.

Another researcher working on the study, Sheryl Ehrman, said: “The study findings suggest that keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time, and avoiding people who are coughing does not provide complete protection from getting the flu.

“Staying home and out of public spaces could make a difference in the spread of the influenza virus.”

Aussie flu symptoms include a dry, chesty cough, muscles aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea.

You shouldn’t visit your GP if you think you may be infected with Aussie flu, as you risk spreading the virus further.

You should only see your GP if you’re over 65, are pregnant, or have an underlying medical condition, it’s advised.

The number of people visiting GPs with flu has increased 150 per cent since the start of the year, according to latest Public Health England figures.