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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #221355

Title: Global Climate Patterns to Model the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Vector-Borne Diseases

item Linthicum, Kenneth - Ken
item Gibson, Seth

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/8/2007
Publication Date: 12/10/2007
Citation: Linthicum, K., Anyamba, A., Small, J., Tucker, C.J., Chretien, J., Britch, S.C. 2007. Global Climate Patterns to Model the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Vector-Borne Diseases. Proc. of the Advances in Infectious Diseases Moedlling in Annecy, Les Pensieres, France on December 10-12, 2007, pgs 7-8

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Global climate patterns, such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), have been shown to have an impact on vector-borne infectious disease outbreaks. In October 2006 the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA/CPC) issued an unscheduled El Niño advisory, indicating that warm sea surface temperatures across the Pacific basin may have had pronounced impacts on global tropical precipitation patterns extending into the northern hemisphere particularly over North America. 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 the developing climate anomalies suggested potential disease risks. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) 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 similar to what has been observed during similar conditions in the past. Positive Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) anomalies conditions were observed across all of Indonesia, Malaysia and most of the Philippines, which are usually the first areas to experience ENSO-related impacts. This dryness continued, on average, for the remainder of 2006 and continued into the early part of 2007. During the period November 2006 – January 2007 climate forecasts indicated that there was a high probability for above normal rainfall in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Islands, the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. Gulf Coast, northern South America and equatorial Africa. Taking into consideration current observations and climate forecast information, indications were that the following regions are at increased risk for disease outbreaks: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and most of the southeast Asia Islands for increased dengue fever transmission and increased respiratory illness; Coastal Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia for increased risk of malaria; Bangladesh and coastal India for elevated risk of cholera; East Africa for increased risk of a Rift Valley fever outbreak and elevated malaria; southwest USA for increased risk for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and plague; southern California for increased West Nile virus transmission; and northeast Brazil for increased dengue fever and respiratory illness. The most recent 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 will occur. Forecasting disease is critical for timely and efficient 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 rationale judgments concerning implementation of Rift Valley fever disease prevention and mitigation strategies in the Horn of Africa.