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Health Agencies Update
September 25, 2018

Obesity and Influenza A Shedding

JAMA. 2018;320(12):1230. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.13078

Obesity is associated with an increase in the duration of influenza A shedding in adults, according to a recently published study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The researchers monitored 1783 people in 320 households in Managua, Nicaragua, during 3 flu seasons, 2015 to 2017. Symptomatic obese adults shed influenza A virus 42% longer—about an additional 1½ days—than nonobese adults. Even among infected adults with few or no symptoms, those with obesity shed the virus twice as long as those who were not obese. Obesity leads to chronic inflammation, which could alter influenza transmission potential, the authors wrote.