Influenza isn’t just limited to certain areas of the world. It can be found in Asia and the Atlantic, from America to Australia and beyond. What’s interesting about the virus though, is that it can be more prominent depending on where you live in the world. So where is influenza most commonly found?
Where is it most common?
A study in 2015 looked into where influenza is most common, alongside how it spreads around the globe. While there are cases of it appearing all around the world, scientists found that it is far more prominent in the east than in the west, particularly in Southeast Asia.
While this might suggest more people begin to contract the virus in the east than the west, it’s actually the reverse. Studying the influenza virus across a yearly period, scientists found that the virus would eventually die out everywhere – except in the west. This suggests that each year, the influenza virus begins in the west and spreads to the east across the globe, which goes to explain why there are such high numbers of influenza suffers in the east every year.
While influenza can affect people all year round, it is far more prominent during winter. However, as well all know, winter doesn’t take place at the same time across the globe. As a result, influenza reaches its peak prominence (more commonly known as ‘flu season’) at different times of the year depending on where you live.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, influenza is more common from November to April. For those in the southern hemisphere, it’s more prevalent from April to September. As a result, we typically have two flu seasons per year, which is why the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends you get two different flu jabs a year to ensure you are protected against the virus.
It’s slightly different news if you live in tropical areas, though. These areas of the world don’t have a clear seasonal pattern, meaning it can be harder to predict when influenza will become more prominent throughout the year, as outbreaks will occur irregularly.
Who is the most vulnerable to influenza?
Influenza can affect anyone, but certain people are more susceptible to the virus than others. Young children are particularly vulnerable because their immune systems are not fully developed, while those over the age of 50 are also at risk because their immune systems become weaker with age.
Other people who are more likely to catch influenza are women who are pregnant, people with chronic medical conditions, and those who are morbidly obese.
Influenza can also be much more dangerous to those in developing countries. While research is still being done on its effects, various studies estimate that 99% of deaths in children under the age of 5 are influenza related.
Want to help us in our fight against influenza? Then why not take part in one of our clinical trials? Visit our clinical trial page to find out more about how you can help us work towards eliminating the flu – for good.