We call fall and winter “flu season,” but why? Why is influenza seasonal, and is flu season the same everywhere?
Flu is caused by the influenza virus. This virus survives better in cool, dry weather, and it spreads more easily from person to person after temperatures turn chilly and people begin to congregate indoors more often. The combination of cold, dry weather and people spending time in close contact causes flu season to crank into high gear starting in October, generally peaking in February, and winding down in April.
At least, that’s the case in the U.S and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, where summer and winter are opposite of ours, the flu season runs opposite as well: from April to September.
To protect yourself, get a flu shot. It’s not too late. And wash your hands frequently during flu season. Wear a mask in public -- yes, it protects against the spread of influenza, too! By taking these simple precautions, you might make it through flu season in the Northern Hemisphere just fine.