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Type: Journal article
Title: Climate variability and Ross River virus transmission
Author: Tong, S.
Bi, P.
Donald, K.
McMichael, A.
Citation: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2002; 56(8):617-621
Publisher: British Med Journal Publ Group
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0143-005X
Statement of
S Tong, P Bi, K Donald and A J McMichael
Abstract: OBJECTIVES:(1) To examine the feasibility to link climate data with monthly incidence of Ross River virus (RRv). (2) To assess the impact of climate variability on the RRv transmission. DESIGN:An ecological time series analysis was performed on the data collected between 1985 to 1996 in Queensland, Australia. METHODS:Information on the notified RRv cases was obtained from the Queensland Department of Health. Climate and population data were supplied by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, respectively. Spearman's rank correlation analyses were performed to examine the relation between climate variability and the monthly incidence of notified RRv infections. The autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was used to perform a time series analysis. As maximum and minimum temperatures were highly correlated with each other (r(s)=0.75), two separate models were developed. RESULTS:For the eight major cities in Queensland, the climate-RRv correlation coefficients were in the range of 0.12 to 0.52 for maximum and minimum temperatures, -0.10 to 0.46 for rainfall, and 0.11 to 0.52 for relative humidity and high tide. For the whole State, rainfall (partial regression coefficient: 0.017 (95% confidence intervals 0.009 to 0.025) in Model I and 0.018 (0.010 to 0.026) in Model II), and high tidal level (0.030 (0.006 to 0.054) in Model I and 0.029 (0.005 to 0.053) in Model II) seemed to have played significant parts in the transmission of RRv in Queensland. Maximum temperature was also marginally significantly associated with the incidence of RRv infection. CONCLUSION:Rainfall, temperature, and tidal levels may be important environmental determinants in the transmission cycles of RRv disease.
Keywords: climate; epidemic polyarthritis; Ross River virus; time series analysis; vector borne disease
Description: The original publication may be found at
RMID: 0020064054
DOI: 10.1136/jech.56.8.617
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Environment Institute publications

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