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Climate change on influenza in Indonesia

Climate change has a significant impact on the health of people. Climatic changes are believed to impact on the factors that increase the risk of diseases in people. For instance, climate change is presumed to have contributed to the influenza outbreak in Indonesia in 2012 (Puspa, Pangewsti & Setiwaty, 2015). Influenza is a contagious viral infection. It affects the respiratory system resulting in fever, catarrh, and severe aches. The presence of flu also increases the risk of medical complications including pneumonia. The researchers pointed out that the positive cases of influenza increased significantly between 2012 and 2013 due to the changes in rainfall patterns. It is unfortunate that there is limited data regarding the mortality and morbidity due to influenza cases related to climate change. Notably, influenza assumes a seasonal epidemic pattern with peaks occurring during the cold seasons. During warm winters, only a small number of people are infected with flu. This trend leaves a significantly larger proportion at risk of flu during cold seasons. This indicates that the rate of flu transmission is significantly lower during warm seasons. According to Sophia and Aubree (2015), the flu virus structure allows it to replicate best when the air is extremely cold and dry. Researchers and healthcare professionals have recommended increased vaccination of the locals against this condition to counteract if adverse health consequences. Sophia and Aubree (2015) pointed out that acute respiratory infections are significant causes of death globally. It was also noted that influenza is one of the important contributors to severe infections as well as death globally.

List of the Medical terms and abbreviations used

Disease outbreak- the widespread manifestation of a certain disease
Positive cases – confirmed diagnosis of influenza
Flu – abbreviation for influenza
Acute respiratory infection
Mortality – the number of fatalities emanating from a specific condition
Morbidity- a description of how disease occurs in a particular region
Vaccination- treatment to increase the body’s strength against particular infections
Epidemic- an extensive manifestation of an infectious disease in the community
Contagious – Easily transmissible through direct or indirect contact with someone infected by a disease-causing microorganism
Catarrh- excessive mucus discharge due to inflammation of the mucous membrane
Pneumonia- a condition characterized by lung inflammation due to viral infection
Viral infection – infections caused by a virus
Replicate – to reproduce through exact copies
Transmission – the spread of disease-causing organisms from one person to another
Fever – high body temperature




Puspa, K., Pangesti, K., & Setiwaty, V. (2015). Effects of climate change on the distribution of influenza virus in Indonesia in 2012-2013. Health Science Journal of Indonesia, 5(2): 78-82. doi:10.22435/hsji.v5i2

Sophia, N., & Aubree, G. (2015). Influenza Burden and Transmission in the Tropics. Current Epidemiology Reports 2015; 2(2): 89–100. doi:  10.1007/s40471-015-0038-4

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