Infection patterns suggest a link between warm winters followed by more severe outbreaks
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After study waves of flu sickness going back to about 1997 and matching them against climate records, researchers say that the warmer winters expected with global warming could lead to earlier and more severe flu seasons.
The researchers said data from the Centers for Disease Control, indicates a pattern for both A and B strains: Warm winters are 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,” said Sherry Towers, research professor in the Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center at Arizona State University. “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.” Continue reading “Will global warming intensify flu outbreaks?”