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Weather agency to forecast flu probabilities

The state’s weather agency will provide the probabilities of catching a cold along with their forecasts, in an effort to help citizens’ maintain their health, said officials on Tuesday.

The Korea Meteorological Administration will offer a national flu report on the possibility of catching a cold or the flu by compiling meteorological data including the temperature and humidity.

Starting in November, the report will rate the possibility with four levels from low to very high and will offer a three-day prediction.

The report will be focused on nine major areas including Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Jeju.

The report will be available annually from December to February.

“The flu report was developed after closely examining the relationship between weather changes and the spread of colds,” according to a KMA official.

Viruses last much longer in cold and dry air, allowing for greater possibility of infection, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

“(The report) was an effort to curb the spread of colds, as more citizens are becoming more conscious of diseases and their health,” he added.

The report is the latest in a line of new services that the KMA has begun offering outside of the meteorological forecast norm.

Last July the agency started offering a driving hazard report, based on compiled data of rainfall, wind, sleet and other factors.

From June, the KMA issued data regarding UV rays, food poisoning possibilities, and a temperature-humidity index for senior citizens.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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