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Global weather changes may influence flu cases

Date Posted: 2007-11-09

Summer is over, but influenza cases continue to be reported across Okinawa.
It’s the third straight year flu cases haven’t dropped as summer wound down, and Okinawa Prefecture officials are theorizing the reason is “because of global warming. Here in Okinawa we get warm tropical weather, and influenza stays in warm weather much longer.” The official says Okinawa appears to be adopting the same weather patterns as south east Asian nations.
“There are two patterns for epidemics of influenza,” says the Prefecture Health Promotion Section. “One comes in summer time and the other in winter.” The official points to Thailand, where there are two epidemic climaxes, one in the hot season between June and August, then another as temperatures drop between January and February.” He says Okinawans use air conditioning to make cooler and drier temperatures, and that makes the potential for influenza outbreaks greater.
Okinawa’s epidemics could be changing to a south east Asian style, the official notes, adding “from now on, global warming will bring all kinds of weather changes, too.”

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