Influenza is a potentially life-threatening virus that spreads quickly from person to person. It is a significant public health issue in this country, with 10–20 percent of New Zealanders infected every year. While influenza outbreaks can occur all year round, rates peak in winter and spring. This is because the virus can survive longer outside the body in periods of colder weather and low absolute humidity (dry conditions).
From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Influenza hospital discharges 2000–2013, this data was extracted:
Provided: 28 data points
Dataset originally released on:
October 02, 2015
Method of collection/Data provider
These data are based on Ministry of Health data for publicly funded hospital discharges. They are collected under the National Minimum Dataset (hospital events) and reported in an annual surveillance report by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR).The survival and transmission of the influenza virus decreases in high humidity (Tompkins et al, 2012). Warmer-than-normal temperatures and higher-than-normal humidity during the months of winter and spring may result in reduced annual influenza rates.