The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Public Transport Does Not Give You the Flu

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Dr Alma Adler and Dr Ken Eames, experts on infectious disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have dispelled the urban myth that using public transport increases your risk of catching the flu'.

In fact, the researchers suggest that because commuters on public transport are exposed to more germs and so build up greater immunity, they are less likely to be infected.

Nearly 6,000 people were surveyed and Dr Adler and Dr Eames found that fewer people who caught public transport got ill than if they commuted by other means.

The findings contradict the commonly held belief that catching tube trains, using train carriages and buses increase the spread of common diseases.

Dr Adler said: “The findings will no doubt come as a huge surprise to the many workers who blame being under the weather on their daily commute.

But the counter-intuitive findings show clearly that regular public transport users in London are at less risk of contracting the flu that people living in other places and using other methods of transport.

In fact, if you want to avoid catching the flu, the best advice is to steer clear of your children!

The flu is spread by direct contact and so it is probably living in proximity to children who spread the flu more than using public transport.

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