NEWS: Even brief exposure to air pollution increases risk of flu and other respiratory infections in children, Utah-based study finds

Emma Penrod
Salt Lake Tribune
April 12th, 2018

Utah’s children are more likely to contract viral respiratory infections such as the flu and RSV after exposure to air pollution during the state’s infamous inversions — but it’s not entirely clear why.

According to a new study, Utah patients were more likely to be diagnosed with a variety of lower respiratory infections in the month following an episode of exposure to elevated small-particulate pollution — the kind of air contaminant associated with the kind of cough-inducing inversion that can dwell over the Wasatch Front in winter months.

For every 10 micrograms of small particulate for each cubic meter of air (10 ug/m3), the odds of contracting an infection increased between 15 and 23 percent, according to the report, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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