NIH Study Sheds Light on Role of Climate in Influenza Transmission

Source: NIH News


A new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center, published in PLoS Pathogens, sets forth a climate-based model of global influenza activity. Using a global database with information on influenza peaks from 1975-2008 for 78 sites, researchers found that temperature and specific humidity were the best predictors of influenza peaks. They determined that maximum influenza activity in colder climates occurs after periods of low temperature and low specific humidity, generally during the winter months, while influenza peaks in warmer climates occur after periods of high temperature and high specific humidity, generally during the rainy season. Dr. Cecile Viboud, lead researcher, says: “The model could have a broader application, encouraging researchers to analyze the association between climatic patterns and infectious disease across a wide range of diseases and latitudes.”

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