Does cold weather really cause the flu to spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 46 states are reporting widespread flu activity. Hawaii, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine have regional cases.

But new research from Arizona State University says that it might not be directly due to cold weather. It's really more about the level of moisture in the air. The influenza virus survives and spreads when the air is dry. For the Upper Midwest, the driest months of the year are December and January. That directly coincides with the typical spread of the flu virus.

In a warmer, more humid climate like Florida, the flu virus has a tougher time. However, we are a moving-people. Sick people bring that virus to the state since it is a destination for so many in colder climates.

So, while the flu happens more when it's cold, it's not necessarily cold-weather related...it's dry-weather related.

Because the flu is strongest when the air is dry, it's important to make sure your home is humid enough.
Click here for a three-minute trick to measure your indoor humidity.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen