Family Health: Flu virus gets stronger in winter


It’s flu season, and, as it turns out, the virus does get stronger during the winter.

That’s according to Dr. Randy Conover, a family physician in Centerton.

He says the flu virus lives for about an hour when it’s warm, but it lasts nearly a day in the cold.

The virus itself has an outer layer that hardens in cold weather and makes it less likely to die.

“They’ve even done studies with guinea pigs, and guinea pigs…the colder the environment, the easier it was for the flu to be passed around. And the warmer, the slower it is,” explains Dr. Conover.

He says those of us who are 65 or older and have high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes have a higher chance of a heart attack if they get the flu. It’s six times higher, to be exact.

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