Seasonal Behaviours of Infectious Diseases

May 09, 2021 2 min read

Seasonal Behaviours of Infectious Diseases

We often seeing increases in diseases according to seasonal changes.

Some examples of this include the annual cycle of flu that often happens as people come together at the start of term in education environments.

Seasonal illness has been documented from centuries ago, but what remains more of a mystery are nuances of what is underlying these interactions.

Logically, seasonality of infectious diseases can be driven by seasonal environmental effects:

  • Increased rainfall can result in more breeding sites for insects who carry the disease
  • Increased water temperature could increase the likelihood of water contamination
  • Changes in humidity can improve the duration of a virus being able to survive on surfaces

But in addition to those, the environmental changes can have an effect on us humans and change our susceptibility to a disease. For example, during the winter months when we have less exposure to sunlight and vitamin D exposure, this can impair our immune function and mean we are more likely to become unwell.

We can observe this seasonality in action when looking at peaks and dips of incidences around the globe. Further away from the equator in more temperate climates is where you can more dramatically observe the effects of the seasons for flu, and there does seem to be a small visible oscillation pattern between higher incidences in the northern and then southern hemispheres as the weather and seasons change.

Whilst this is hugely simplified and there is a great deal more research that needs to be done, we are more aware of the factors that affect these phenomena, and we are subsequently better placed to control disease transmission. By understanding the relative importance of weather and human behaviour we can be better prepared to mitigate these seasonal increases of infection of a huge variety of viral and bacterial disease.

We do know we can help mitigate some of these infections and viruses by using good cleaning practices for ourselves and our surroundings. Click here to find out more about how our products can dramatically reduce the presence of pathogens on our skin and on surfaces, in a natural and safeway. 

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