It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (January 18, 2018). People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces.

But, this study of flu transmission, led by Professor Donald Milton, reveals that we may pass the flu to others just by breathing. Researchers from the University of Maryland, San José State University, Missouri Western State University and University of California, Berkeley contributed to this study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health.