Data from WHO show Flu viruses spreading rapidly across Europe as winter temperatures continue to hold well-below normal and total snow mass sits well-above the 30-year average.
Warnings are coming out of the UK this week as Flu pressures on intensive care units are now as bad as at height of last year’s winter crisis, when “the Beast from the East” contributed to an extra 50,000 deaths in Britain alone — link here.
In the last fortnight, the number of cases seen by GPs has more than doubled. But a far greater impact has been seen in hospital intensive care units, with just as many cases as seen this time last year — when the NHS had the worst winter crisis on record.
Britain is just at the beginning of what looks to be a long-lasting polar onslaught, where temperatures are forecast to hold well-below average for as far as weather models can reliably project.
With a strong link between cold temperatures and flu, we can expect the pressures on hospitals to be exacerbated even further.
Below is the latest seasonal influenza update for Europe from WHO.
Note the week in question, the last week of 2018, before the ‘real’ Arctic cold plunged down into Eastern, Central and Southern regions resulting in areas “literally getting buried in snow” — link here.
In the coming weeks more countries are likely to turn to orange and red as the data from early 2019’s polar plunge filters in.
The 2018/19 winter season is on course to be the coldest and most brutal since those of the mid/late 70s — the last time our planet experienced such a deep solar minimum off the back of a weak solar cycle– and cold weather is far more detrimental to human health than hot.
A warming world would be beneficial to humanity, as it was in the past. Civilisations thrived during times of predictable warmth.
Keep an eye on the most vulnerable this winter.
Low temperatures increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Grand Solar Minimum