Short Little Viral Vectors

Posting will probably be light in April. I’m dealing with some (hopefully easily resolvable) health issues, including some very low white blood cell counts that seem to be making me susceptible to every little thing that goes around. I felt like I was spending half my time sick, so it was fortuitous that I ran across this study that confirmed my fears: Community Surveillance of Respiratory Viruses Among Families in the Utah Better Identification of Germs-Longitudinal Viral Epidemiology (BIG-LoVE) Study.

In this study, they actually got 26 households (105 people total) to volunteer to get nasal swabs done once a week for a full year. They tested these swabs to see how often a viral infection was present, regardless of symptoms. The results were something every parent would intuitively guess…..households with kids had far more weeks with viruses present than those without:

I was interested to see that it’s the second kid that really ups things, and then the third and fourth don’t really add much viral load. 6 kids appears to just be madness.

Anyway, it’s a small sample size, but I am guessing this result would hold up pretty well.

Back to me….I may take a page out of the AVIs handbook and find a few old posts to bump, but other than that things may be light for a bit. Stay well everyone!

2 thoughts on “Short Little Viral Vectors

  1. Initial guess: Increase in number of schools. A second child often has different day care, school, soccer, and ballet contacts. Third and fourth children likely overlap with one of the other siblings. I’m going to guess that even in Utah there weren’t that many families with 5 or 6 children, so that leap may be artificial, but in general you will get more exposure because all five aren’t even in the same two schools anymore. You’re up to three now.


  2. With only 26 households I don’t think the differences between 2 and 3 are likely to be terribly significant.

    Remember all the time spent trying to teach the kids to share? They learned part of the lesson, anyway.


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