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Tracking airborne viruses

In the wake of headline-making outbreaks such as SARS, West Nile virus, and pandemic influenza, scientists have ramped up efforts to better understand how infectious agents behave and spread among us. But, remarkably, little is known as to how well many infectious diseases spread through the air.

A University of Minnesota team is working to answer this question through lab simulations of six different live viruses that resemble those that cause influenza, SARS, and other diseases. The interdisciplinary team—which represents public health, veterinary medicine, and mechanical engineering—is studying how far and fast viruses travel in different airborne particles, from liquids that are drop-sized to much smaller aerosol-sized particles.

Read more in Advances Magazine.

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