A half-decade study to track the flu's travels could lead to better vaccines
Flu travel patterns: Seasonal influenza strains typically emerge in Asia and spread to the rest of the world along the routes shown here. Courtesy of NASA/University of Cambridge
Where does the flu come from? Scientists at the University of Cambridge
and the World Health Organization's Global Influenza Surveillance Network
tracked the migrations of flu viruses and discovered that the most common originate in East and Southeast Asia and spread in a distinctive pattern around the world. Understanding how these viruses evolve and travel will lead to better vaccines against flu epidemics that currently infect 5 to 15 percent of the world's population each year.