Climate variability and Ross River virus transmission in Townsville region, Australia 1985 to 1996

Tong, Shilu, Hu, Wenbiao, & McMichael, Anthony J. (2004) Climate variability and Ross River virus transmission in Townsville region, Australia 1985 to 1996. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 9(2), pp. 298-304.

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Background How climate variability affects the transmission of infectious diseases at a regional level remains unclear. In this paper, we assessed the impact of climate variation on the Ross River virus (RRv) transmission in the Townsville region, Queensland, north-east Australia. Methods Population-based information was obtained on monthly variations in RRv cases, climatic factors, sea level, and population growth between 1985 and 1996. Cross-correlations were computed for a series of associations between climate variables (rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, relative humidity and high tide) and the monthly incidence of RRv disease over a range of time lags. The impact of climate variability on RRv transmission was assessed using the seasonal auto-regressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model. Results There were significant correlations of the monthly incidence of RRv to rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature and relative humidity, all at a lag of 2 months, and high tide in the current month. The results of SARIMA models show that monthly average rainfall (β=0.0012, p=0.04) and high tide (β=0.0262, p=0.01) were significantly associated with RRv transmission, although temperature and relative humidity did not seem to have played an important role in the Townsville region. Conclusions Rainfall, and high tide were likely to be key determinants of RRv transmission in the Townsville region.

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ID Code: 8888
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: Climate change, cross, correlation function, Ross River virus, seasonal auto, regressive integrated moving average, time series
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.2003.01175.x
ISSN: 1360-2276
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 07 Aug 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:04

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