Mucus helps flu virus survive in the environment

Influenza virus infectivity persists in aerosols and droplets across a range of relative humidities so long as extracellular material from the apical surface of airway epithelial cells is present, a study suggests.

"The most surprising result was that the viruses in aerosols did not decay, across a wide range of relative humidities … after an hour," two of the US researchers said by email.

All previous studies that had looked at survival of flu virus in droplets and aerosols have shown a loss in infectivity at medium and/or high relative