Seema Lakdawala, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Reducing the Spread of Influenza Virus Through the Air
Every winter about 20 million people in the U.S. will get infected with an influenza virus. A key to reducing cases of influenza infections is to block the spread of influenza viruses through the air. Influenza viruses replicate in the respiratory tract. Coughing, talking, and exhaling can promote the spread of influenza viruses, since these processes expel droplets and aerosols containing viruses. People become infected by breathing in virus-containing aerosols or touching contaminated surfaces. We will investigate how the environment alters the stability of influenza viruses in expelled aerosols and droplets, in order to engineer control measures that improve the air we breathe in confined indoor environments and reduce influenza infections.