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Understanding the association of meteorological variation and influenza activities to prepare for seasonal influenza outbreaks



Seasonal influenza, which results in approximately 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide annually, has always been a major public health issue. In order to accurately forecast the seasonality of influenza for the purpose of coordinating healthcare resources, many studies have been conducted to assess the effects of weather on influenza activity in different climatic regions. Since seasonal epidemics worldwide are mostly caused by the circulation of influenza A and B, the study “Association between meteorological variations and activities of influenza A and B across different climate zones: a multi-region modelling analysis across the globe” was conducted to elucidate the effects and interactions of meteorological variations on the activities of influenza A and B across different climate regions. 


The study revealed that meteorological variation plays an important role in influenza activity: for instance, absolute humidity shows a positive association with both influenza A and B in subtropical and tropical zones. However, it is negatively associated with influenza B activity in temperate zones. This study also emphasised the importance of understanding and predicting changes in influenza activity, including the impact of global warming on climate change, so as to facilitate timely responses to seasonal influenza outbreaks. (J Infect. 2020 Jan;80(1):84-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2019.09.013. Epub 2019 Oct 1.)

Anyone interested in future collaboration in this field of research is welcome to contact our key investigator Prof Marc Chong in the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, CUHK. Prof Chong’s research focuses on infectious diseases epidemiology and modelling.
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