New research from a team of Florida State University scientists shows that rapid weather variability as a result of climate change could increase the risk of a flu epidemic in some highly populated regions in the late 21st century. The research was published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Zhaohua Wu, an associate professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science and scientist with the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, and an international team looked at historical data to see how significant weather swings in the autumn months affect flu season in highly populated regions of northern-mid latitudes of the world. They specifically looked at the United States, mainland China, Italy and France.
Using surface air temperatures from Jan. 1, 1997 to Feb. 28, 2018, researchers analyzed weather patterns and average temperatures over 7,729 days. Simultaneously, they conducted statistical analysis on influenza data sets from the four countries over the same time period.