As a fan boy from the ‘great outdoors,’ I was thrilled by this information.
New research based on data from 18 countries concludes that adults with better mental health are more likely to report having spent time playing in and around coastal and inland waters, such as rivers and lakes (also known collectively as blue spaces) as children. The finding was replicated in each of the countries studied.
Mounting evidence shows that spending time in and around green spaces such as parks and woodlands in adulthood is associated with stress reduction and better mental health. However, we know far less about the benefits of blue spaces, or the role childhood contact has in these relationships in later life.
Early infections of influenza A can help predict how the virus will affect people across different ages in the future and could impact the effectiveness of flu vaccines, says a new study published in eLife.
The findings may help improve estimates of both the age-specific risk of acquiring seasonal influenza infections and vaccine effectiveness in similarly vaccinated populations.
Seasonal influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that occur across the world. It causes approximately 100,000–600,000 hospitalisations and 5,000–27,000 deaths per year in the US alone. There are three types of seasonal influenza viruses in humans: A, B and C, although C is much less common. Influenza A viruses are further classified into subtypes, with the A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) subtypes currently circulating in humans. A(H1N1) is also written as A(H1N1)pdm09 as it caused the 2009 pandemic and replaced the A(H1N1) virus which had circulated before that year.
One of the ways that our brain responds to daily stressors is by releasing a hormone called cortisol — typically, our cortisol levels peak in the morning and gradually decline throughout the day. But sometimes this system can become dysregulated, resulting in a flatter cortisol pattern that is associated with negative health outcomes. Continue reading →