Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Rainy Day Reaction: Human West Nile Viruses Cases Respond to Weather Patterns

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Rainy Day Reaction: Human West Nile Viruses Cases Respond to Weather Patterns

Article excerpt

Piecemeal evidence suggests weather may have played a role in the rapid spread of West Nile virus (WNV) across the United States and into Canada and Central America following its detection in New York City in 1999. A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers has looked more comprehensively at the evidence by analyzing a spectrum of weather factors for 17 climatically diverse states, and found several significant links with the incidence of human WNV cases [EHP 117:1049-1052; Soverow et al.]. The analysis was based on 16,298 WNV cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2001 to 2005, as well as year-round temperature, precipitation, and dew point data from 351 weather stations in close proximity to the infected people.

A 12[degrees]F increase in maximum daily temperature was associated with a 45-72% increase in WNV case reports within a 1-month period. Precipitation was also associated with WNV, which increased 29-66% in association with a single-day rainfall of at least 50 mm within 3 weeks of diagnosis. Smaller amounts of precipitation were associated with smaller increases in WNV cases, consistent with a dose-response effect. …

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