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Climatic, high tide and vector variables and the transmission of Ross River virus

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This report assesses the impact of the variability in environmental and vector factors on the transmission of Ross River virus (RRV) in Brisbane, Australia. Poisson time series regression analyses were conducted using monthly data on the counts of RRV cases, climate variables (Southern Oscillation Index and rainfall), high tides and mosquito density for the period of 1998–2001. The results indicate that increases in the high tide (relative risk (RR): 1.65; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20–2.26), rainfall (RR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.21–1.73), mosquito density (RR: 1.17; 95% CI: 1.09–1.27), the density of Culex annulirostris (RR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.13–1.37) and the density of Ochlerotatus vigilax (RR: 2.39; 95% CI: 2.30–2.48), each at a lag of 1 month, were statistically significantly associated with the rise of monthly RRV incidence. The results of the present study might facilitate the development of early warning systems for reducing the incidence of this wide-spread disease in Australia and other Pacific island nations. (Intern Med J 2005; 35: 677–680)
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Keywords: Ross River virus; climate; time series; vector

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology 2: Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland 3: Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria 4: Australian Biosecurity CRC, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia 5: National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia 6: Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Department Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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