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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING ARTHROPODS: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: The Role of Global Climate Patterns in the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Vector-Borne Disease

Authors
item Linthicum, Kenneth
item Anyamba, Assaf -
item Chretien, Jean-Paul -
item Small, Jennifer -
item Tucker, Compton -
item Britch, Seth

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 21, 2010
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Citation: Linthicum, K., Anyamba, A., Chretien, J., Small, J., Tucker, C.J., Britch, S.C. 2010. The Role of Global Climate Patterns in the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Vector-Borne Disease. In: Atkinson, P.W., editor. Vector Biology, Ecology and Control. New York, NY: Springer. p. 3-13.

Interpretive Summary: Global climate has a major impact on human and animal diseases that are transmitted by insects. Information gathered by sensors on satellites can be used to detect changes in ocean temperatures that occur before increased rainfall or drought events, each of which may precede an insect-transmitted disease Forecasting diseases can provide health officials with sufficient time to implement disdase prevention and mitigation efforts.

Technical Abstract: Global climate variability patterns, such as those associated with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena, have been shown to have an impact on vector-borne infectious disease outbreaks. Evidence of the links between ENSO driven climate anomalies and infectious diseases, particularly those transmitted by insects, can allow us to provide improved long range forecasts of an epidemic or epizootic. Using satellite generated data developing climate anomalies suggested potential disease risks for 2006 and 2007. Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial east Pacific Ocean anomalously increased significantly during July – October 2006 indicating the typical development of El Niño conditions. The persistence of these conditions led to extremes in global-scale climate anomalies comparable to what has been observed during similar conditions in the past. The 2006 development of El Niño conditions had significant implications for global public health. Extremes in climate events with above normal rainfall and flooding in some regions and extended drought periods in other regions occurred. Forecasting disease is critical for timely and effective planning of operational control programs. Here we describe global climate anomalies that led to forecasts of elevated disease risks that gave decision makers additional tools to make rational judgments concerning implementation of disease prevention and mitigation strategies.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014