health forecastingJoe Segen2016-12-13T03:00:45+00:00
A neo-discipline* which studies the near term alterations in a population’s health state, based on changes in the weather.
*Championed by a UK GP who became the Met (formerly, Meteorological) Office’s first Clinical Director in 2002.
Weather effects on health
• Cold May contribute to 40,000 deaths/year (UK), especially from COPD; to reduce mortality, keep active when outdoors; dress warmly, cover head, hands, keep indoor temperatures > 21ºC/69ºF
• Heat Heat waves are linked to a 30% increase in mortality in the very young and very old
• Thunderstorms May cause asthma epidemics in periods of high pollen or fungal spores counts
• Low boundary layers May facilitate viral transmission in stagnant air
Synonyms Meteorological medicine, weather medicine