Why Do More People Die in Winter? Why do Viruses Spread in Winter?

According to the CDC, the average number of deaths from December, January, and February range from 8,300-8,450, whereas the average number of deaths from June, July, and August are around 7,150-7,298. 

It is undeniable that more people die in Winter than the Summer, and that the transmission of the “flu” virus is significantly more common… But why is that? 

It has long been thought that colder temperatures suppress your immune system, but recent evidence sparks a hot debate, suggesting that cold temperatures do NOT suppress your immune system. 

In fact, some studies suggest that cold showers, and “cold plunge,” can increase your immune system, but it doesn’t stop there: it’s been shown to improve depression, self-esteem, insomnia, and more! 

Check out our incredible video on this subject by pressing HERE

Alternatively, you can download the audio-only podcast by clicking above! 

Second Order Consequences

It looks like a direct suppression of the immune system from colder temperatures might not be the direct cause of the increase in deaths during Winter. 

However, it might be the “second & third order consequences” from Winter. What this means is that changes in human behavior (and virus behavior) during Winter could be what causes the increases in deaths. 

Second-order consequences are things that don’t happen immediately after a particular cause, but are the “effect of the effect.” 

For example, the 1st order consequence of working out is a difficult gym experience, but the 2nd order consequence is losing fat. 

It is believed that there are 3 things that happen when Winter comes around, that eventually cause more deaths & the increased transmission of deadly diseases such as influenza. 

#1: Influenza Survives Better in Cold

Some studies suggest that the influenza virus may survive better in colder, drier climates, and therefore be able to infect more people across time. 

In fact, the influenza word itself may be a reference to its original Italian roots, “influenza di freddo,” which translates to “influence of the cold.” 

Many of the symptoms caused by influenza are exacerbated by colder temperatures. 

For example, coughing & sneezing is already more likely to happen in cold, dry climates, instead of warm, humid climates. 

#2: Days are Shorter…

Days are shorter, and humans receive significantly less sunlight in Winter. The reason for this is because we spend more time indoors, covered up by several layers, and of course the less sunlight in each day. 

This causes lowered levels of Vitamin D & melatonin, both of which require sunlight. This reduces our immune system. 

We are also less physically active, and many people get “Winter blues.” The decrease in mood & physical activity has been shown to reduce immune systems in people. 

While the cold itself might not be the cause of reduced immune system function, these effects end up leading to the same thing: a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to all kinds of diseases you could otherwise easily beat!

#3: Sealed Containers

People spend more time indoors with their windows sealed. Thus, they are more likely to breathe the same contaminated air as someone who has coughed or sneezed. 

Public buildings such as Universities, schools, workplaces, restaurants, and malls have less circulation of fresh air from the outside, causing more people to breathe the same virus-ridden air! 

People are also cold, and thus more likely to be closer together, again increasing the probability of infection! 

What We Do 

The above reasons are thought to be some of the primary reasons more people pass in Winter than in Summer. 

While you’re spending time indoors, wildlife & pests are thinking of infesting your home as well! 

Wild animals often infest people’s homes, and pests (such as insects) as well. They dig under your home, in between the walls, in the attic, and other secret hiding places. 

If you think you have a wildlife or pest-related problem, contact us ASAP so we can take care of it for you. 

We specialize in safe & responsible removal of wildlife & pests, and the removal of these creatures prevents the spread of animal -> human transmission. 

If you have any questions, please call 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com 

-Wildlife x Team International 

P.S. Stay safe, be healthy, we wish you well in these tough times! 


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