Roles of Humidity and Temperature in Shaping Influenza Seasonality

Experimental studies in guinea pigs demonstrated that influenza virus transmission is strongly modulated by temperature and humidity. A number of epidemiological studies have followed up on these findings and revealed robust associations between influenza incidence in temperate regions and local conditions of humidity and temperature, offering a long-awaited explanation for the wintertime seasonality of influenza in these locales. Despite recent progress, important questions remain as to the mechanism(s) by which humidity and/or temperature affects transmission.