Weather Patterns Influence the Influenza Epidemic

Topics: Scientific method, Influenza, Science Pages: 2 (597 words) Published: June 22, 2013
Weather Patterns Influence the Influenza Epidemic


In this paper I intend on summarizing an online research article about how weather patterns in regards to the climate influence the onset and severity of the Influenza epidemic. It will show how the research is related to science and what field of study. I will attempt to identify the steps of the scientific method conducted in the research whether implied or expressed and how the communicating the results of scientific research is important.

Key words: ILI=Influenza-like illness, CDC=Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC=National Climate Data Center.

The researchers in my chosen article were “doing science” by collecting and analyzing several years of climate patterns from the NCDC particularly, the winters before the dreaded flu season. By combining the patterns with data collected from the CDC on the Influenza epidemic, they were able to recognize clear patterns that correlated how the temperature of the prior winter had a direct effect on the Influenza season. “ We posit that fewer people are infected with influenza during warm winters, thereby leaving an unnaturally large fraction of susceptible individuals in the population going into the next season, which can lead to early and severe epidemics” (Sherry Towers, 2013).

The study was conducted in the field of earth science with an emphasis in epidemiology. The research followed the known scientific method approach. They observed the effect of winter’s temperature on flu season. This was implied however be it from work in medicine, personal experience or media information. They formed the hypothesis that early and severe influenza seasons followed warmer than average winters. The experiment was planned and implemented by collecting, analyzing and cross referencing several years of weather patterns from the NCDC and reported onset, severity and quantity of the population affected by influenza from the CDC. “We posit that...
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