Flu cases impacted by weather

Flu cases impacted by weather

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Flu cases are on the rise and our weather could impact the number of cases.

Phoebe doctors said they have seen a significant amount of flu cases this season but our warmer climate keeps the virus at bay.

The flu strain impacting south Georgia the most is type A H1N1 according to Carolyn Maschke with Georgia Department of Public health’s Southwest District.

“The only thing certain about the flu is it’s unpredictable," said Maschke.

“However in Georgia, high humidity is common and lends a helping hand in fighting the flu," said Dr. Tope Olarewaju. “I would consider the cases to be much lower here then other parts of the country. If you think about the cases in the North and Midwestern states they’ll definitely have more higher cases of flu then they would here in south Georgia."

CDC reports show flu like symptoms are higher in Midwest states like Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Georgia Department of Public Health documents show one death during the week ending on February 2.

Reports show a total of nine flu related deaths in Georgia during this flu season.

“In the winter months when it’s less humid this helps the virus live a lot longer once its airborne. So if it’s living longer then it definitely has the ability to transmit the virus a lot more and that would automatically increase the cases as well,” said Dr. Olarewaju.

The downside to humid winters is we could see our immune systems weakened.

“Because people are just not getting exposed to the virus as much, so that means the following year they’re more likely to get sicker because they’re not immune to virus transmission from the previous year,” explained Dr. Olarewaju.

Regardless of the weather, doctors still recommend getting the shot.

Georgia’s humidity helps but isn’t the only factor in fighting the flu.

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