Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More severe flu seasons predicted due to climate change

Date:
January 28, 2013
Source:
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Summary:
The American public can expect to add earlier and more severe flu seasons to the fallout from climate change, according to a new research.

Research by ASU scientists tracked the number of flu cases by week for the past 16 years. Their studies suggest there is a trend toward earlier and more severe flu seasons with potential link climate change.
Credit: Image courtesy of Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The American public can expect to add earlier and more severe flu seasons to the fallout from climate change, according to a research study published online Jan. 28 in PLOS Currents: Influenza.

Related Articles


A team of scientists led by Sherry Towers, research professor in the Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center at Arizona State University, studied waves of influenza and climate patterns in the U.S. from the 1997-1998 season to the present.

The team's analysis, which used Centers for Disease Control data, 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," says Towers. "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, which is still in high gear in parts of the nation, began early and fiercely. It followed a relatively light 2011-2012 season, which saw the lowest peak of flu since tracking efforts went into effect, and coincided with the fourth warmest winter on record. According to previous studies, 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, say the study's authors.

Mathematical epidemiologist Gerardo Chowell-Puente, an associate professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, adds that the findings could inform preparedness efforts following mild winters: "The expedited manufacture and distribution of vaccines and aggressive vaccination programs could significantly diminish the severity of future influenza epidemics."

The goal of the overarching study is to better grasp the character and trajectory of influenza in all its forms. The study was partially supported by the Multinational Influenza Seasonal Mortality Study, overseen by the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center. Other team members are Rasheed Hameed, Matthew Jastrebski, Maryam Khan, Jonathan Meeks, Anuj Mubayi and George Harris of Northeastern Illinois University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sherry Towers, Gerardo Chowell, Rasheed Hameed, Matthew Jastrebski, Maryam Khan, Jonathan Meeks, Anuj Mubayi, George Harris. Climate change and influenza: the likelihood of early and severe influenza seasons following warmer than average winters. PLoS Currents, 2013; DOI: 10.1371/currents.flu.3679b56a3a5313dc7c043fb944c6f138

Cite This Page:

Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "More severe flu seasons predicted due to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128142847.htm>.
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. (2013, January 28). More severe flu seasons predicted due to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128142847.htm
Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "More severe flu seasons predicted due to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128142847.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins