Winter weather and flu effects

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Will Alabama see any decrease in flu numbers because of the winter weather?

It's an interesting question. Think about it, a lot of people have been staying home which might mean they have less chance to interact with others outside their immediate family.

However, one doctor thinks the time away is simply not long enough to make a difference.

"I think it will be negligible," said Dr. Timbo Taylor, MainStreet Family Urgent Care. "With this just one or two days of people being out of school, I don't think that's enough to make a dent in it."

Taylor believes that because the virus is so wide spread this year.

"I think it's more of a herd mentality and so that's why we push the vaccine. It's not so much isolated cases, it's that we want to vaccinate the herd," he said.

In fact, the cold weather actually makes the flu live longer.

"It kind of stabilizes the virus. And so it makes transmissible for longer," said Taylor.

What that means in the number of people affected, remains to be seen. 

Regardless, Taylor said it's important to get a flu shot, wash your hands constantly, and of course stay home if you're sick.

"If you think you're running a fever. If you are starting to cough really bad, you're having body aches, then do what you can to mitigate giving that to other people. And then if you are on the receiving end, make sure you limit anything you can be exposed to," he said.

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