I’ve previously compared 1976 with 2018 — Weather and Sunspots — but there now appears to be a further correlation to be drawn. There were over 50,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales during the winter of 2017/18, which was the highest recorded since 1975/76, according to data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The increase is a result of an ineffective flu vaccine last year alongside colder than usual temperatures, again according to the ONS.
The excess winter mortality rate, which compares the numbers of deaths between December and March to the average number of deaths across the rest of the year, continued to be the highest in females and people aged 85 and over. However, the rate also doubled among males aged 0-64 years between 2016/17 to 2017/18.
Dr Jennie Harries, deputy medical director at Public Health England, said: “The winter of 2017/18 saw an intense flu season and some very cold weather. Such weather particularly affects people who are already vulnerable, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. We have made new flu vaccines available, including a more effective vaccine for all adults aged 65 and over.”
But her comments come as global supply issues affecting the new over-65s flu vaccine has caused chaos this vaccination season. Some 2.5 million elderly people in England had yet to be vaccinated when the last batch of supplies was delivered towards the end of last month, while in Scotland fewer than 4 in 10 over-65s were vaccinated.
I’ll let you make of that what you will.
But the fact is that cold weather is far more detrimental to human health than hot. Keep an eye on the most vulnerable this winter — the cold increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Cold weather kills and the cold times are returning. The 2018/19 winter season is expected to be the coldest and most brutal since those in the mid/late 70s, the last time our planet was experiencing a deep solar minimum off the back of a weak solar cycle.
History is repeating.
Grand Solar Minimum