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
Federal government: caffeine-infused underwear won't help people lose weight Federal government: caffeine-infused underwear won't help people lose weight
2
Whoever smelt it may have been dealt a longer life Whoever smelt it may have been dealt a longer life
3
Don't like getting shots? Just swallow this pill coated with tiny needles Don't like getting shots? Just swallow this pill coated with tiny needles
4
Health officials monitoring 80 people for Ebola in Texas Health officials monitoring 80 people for Ebola in Texas
5
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
Trending News
x
Feedback