Whatever happens in the current outbreak of swine flu in the UK, the disease may not peak until this winter. In the 1957 pandemic, the flu arrived here in summer but nothing much happened until the following winter, and in the 1968-69 outbreak it took about a year to take hold.
Winter is also the time for the usual flu outbreaks, but why the season makes any difference to the disease is not well understood.
One idea is that people spend more time indoors in winter so they are more likely to infect each other. And because there is less sunshine in winter, the ultraviolet rays in sunlight are less likely to destroy the virus.
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