WEATHER CONDITIONS FAVOURABLE TO THE INCREASED INCIDENCE OF INFLUENZA VIRUS IN SELECTED REGIONS OF POLAND
ABSTRACT. – Weather conditions favourable to the increased incidence of influenza virus in selected regions of Poland. Human health is affected by a variety of factors. Weather conditions are hardly ever the direct cause of illness, but they may be among the top underlying factors. This paper discusses the variation of incidence of influenza and influenza-like illnesses in Poland depending on the weather conditions prevalent in the 2010/11-2013/14 seasons, as compared to incidence data since 1974. In particular, it focuses on extreme cases and areas of increased rates of said infections. Medical statistics and meteorological data from 16 Polish provinces were used as input to the study. The flu season was defined as the period starting in October and ending in April. All months in the selected seasons were analyzed, with particular attention paid to those which stood out among others due to the high number of cases recorded. Increased incidence of influenza and influenza-like illnesses was evident in periods with severe weather changes.
Keywords: influenza virus, flu season, biometeorology, Poland