Breakdown: Why wild weather swings can make flu season worse

Flu & fluctuations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -A recent study done that utilized surface air temperatures from Jan. 1, 1997 to Feb. 28, 2018, analyzed weather patterns and average temperatures over 7,729 days. At the same time, studies were done on the flu virus for four countries over the same time frame.

Research found that low temperatures and humidity in the winter created a favorable environment for transmitting the flu virus. However, this wasn’t the case in the flu season of 2017-2018, which was one of warmest and deadliest since records have been kept. In the flu season of 2017-2018 The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)reported 186 children died. The year of 2012-2013 held the highest deaths before the 2017-2018 season with 171 pediatric deaths.

Scientist found that during the 2017-2018 flu season, that the extreme fluctuations in weather during the fall months was what started the season in the first place. This kick start during the 2017 allowed the virus to spread quickly especially in highly populated areas.

Data from past flu studies from different areas of the world found that the spread showed the flu being linked to bigger variations in weather. Doctors concluded that quick changes in weather made people more susceptible to flu.

Some doctors suggest that fluctuation in weather will mean basically challenges for our immune system. When Our bodies get used to a specific climate, and when the weather makes a suddenly, our body has to try to adapt to the change. Sometimes our bodies can have a tough time adapting which can be the trigger for sickness.

Scientist speculate that this will continue to be an issue in the future and that these swings in weather are more common in warming climates. Some scientist believe that understanding the patterns could be the key to understanding the severity of a flu season. Scientist concluded that if the recent research is correct, there is an anticipation of increased flu risk especially in densely populated areas.

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