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Title: Association of temperature and historical dynamics of malaria in the Republic of Korea, including reemergence in 1993

item Linthicum, Kenneth - Ken
item ANYAMBA, ASSAF - Goddard Space Flight Center
item KILLENBECK, BRADLEY - Department Of Defense
item LEE, WON-JA - Korea Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
item LEE, HEE CHOON - Department Of Defense
item KLEIN, TERRY - Department Of Defense
item KIM, HEUNG-CHUL - Department Of Defense
item PAVLIN, JULIE - Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)
item Gibson, Seth
item SMALL, JENNIFER - Goddard Space Flight Center
item TUCKER, COMPTON - Goddard Space Flight Center
item GAYDOS, JOEL - Armed Forces Research Institute Of Medical Sciences

Submitted to: Military Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2014
Publication Date: 7/1/2014
Citation: Linthicum, K., Anyamba, A., Killenbeck, B., Lee, W., Lee, H.S., Klein, T.A., Kim, H., Pavlin, J.A., Britch, S.C., Small, J., Tucker, C.J., Gaydos, J.C. 2014. Association of Temperature and Historical Dynamics of Malaria in the Republic of Korea, Including Reemergence in 1993. Military Medicine. 179(7):806-814.

Interpretive Summary: After being declared malaria free in 1979 the disease appeared again in people in the Republic of Korea in 1993 and has continued to infect people through 2011. To try to understand why malaria returned we looked at the relationship between malaria cases in military and civilian populations in the Republic of Korea and regional climate trends. We found that there is an association between malaria cases and elevated air temperatures.

Technical Abstract: Plasmodium vivax malaria reemerged in the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1993 after it had been declared malaria free in 1979. Malaria rapidly increased and peaked in 2000 with 4,142 cases. Lower but variable numbers of cases were reported through 2011. We examined the association of regional climate trends over the Korean Peninsula relative to malaria cases in United States military, and ROK soldiers, veterans, and civilians from 1950-2011. Temperatures and anomaly trends in air temperature associated with satellite remotely-sensed outgoing longwave radiation were used to observe temporal changes. These changes, particularly increasing air temperatures, probably supported the 1993 reemergence and the peaks in malaria incidence that occurred through 2011. Similarly, high malaria rates during the Korean War were associated with a favorable climate. These findings support increased investigation into malaria predictive models using climate-related variables.