Rising global temperatures over the past two decades may be responsible for a shortened season of a serious respiratory illness in the United Kingdom, according to an article in the March 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can cause particularly severe lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children, sometimes resulting in pneumonia. Like the flu, RSV has a seasonal pattern, infecting the majority of people during autumn and winter.
Author Gavin Donaldson, PhD, of the University College London, examined the relationship between the RSV season and the rise in temperatures in central England from 1981 to 2004, and found that the RSV season ended earlier each year as temperatures increased. The illness season-measured by laboratory isolation of RSV and emergency room admissions due to RSV-was shortened by about three weeks per degree Celsius rise in annual mean daily temperature.
Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
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