facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Global warming linked to worse flu seasons

Jan. 30, 2013 at 7:34 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Climate change will add earlier and more severe flu seasons, U.S. researchers say.

Study leader Sherry Towers, a research professor at Arizona State University, studied waves of influenza and climate patterns in the United States from the 1997-98 season to the present.

The research team said data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate a pattern for both A and B strains: Warm winters were usually followed by heavy flu seasons.

"It appears that fewer people contract influenza during warm winters, and this causes a major portion of the population to remain vulnerable into the next season, causing an early and strong emergence," Towers said in a statement. "And when a flu season begins exceptionally early, much of the population has not had a chance to get vaccinated, potentially making that flu season even worse."

The current flu season, began early and fiercely and followed a relatively light 2011-12 season, which saw the lowest peak of flu since tracking efforts went into effect, and coincided with the fourth warmest winter on record. Studies suggest flu transmission decreases in warm or humid conditions.

If global warming continues, warm winters will become more common, and the impact of flu will likely be more heavily felt, the study authors concluded.

The findings were published in PLOS Currents: Influenza.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Mom recovering after emergency surgery to save quadruplets Mom recovering after emergency surgery to save quadruplets
2
Surgeons in Australia perform heart transplant with 'dead heart' Surgeons in Australia perform heart transplant with 'dead heart'
3
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
Michelle Obama made a 'Turn Down for What' Vine inspired by turnips Michelle Obama made a 'Turn Down for What' Vine inspired by turnips
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback