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Predictive Modeling of West Nile Virus Transmission Risk in the Mediterranean Basin: How Far from Landing?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1211-1232; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201211

The Incidence of West Nile Disease in Russia in Relation to Climatic and Environmental Factors

1,* , 2
1 Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Novogireevskaya Street 3A, Moscow 111123, Russia 2 Space Research Institute, Profsoyuznaya Street 84/32, Moscow 117997, Russia 3 Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome 00161, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2013 / Revised: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 23 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of West Nile Virus)
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Since 1999, human cases of West Nile fever/neuroinvasive disease (WND) have been reported annually in Russia. The highest incidence has been recorded in three provinces of southern European Russia (Volgograd, Astrakhan and Rostov Provinces), yet in 2010–2012 the distribution of human cases expanded northwards considerably. From year to year, the number of WND cases varied widely, with major WND outbreaks in 1999, 2007, 2010, and 2012. The present study was aimed at identifying the most important climatic and environmental factors potentially affecting WND incidence in the three above-mentioned provinces and at building simple prognostic models, using those factors, by the decision trees method. The effects of 96 variables, including mean monthly temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, etc. were taken into account. The findings of this analysis show that an increase of human WND incidence, compared to the previous year, was mostly driven by higher temperatures in May and/or in June, as well as (to a lesser extent) by high August-September temperatures. Declining incidence was associated with cold winters (December and/or January, depending on the region and type of model). WND incidence also tended to decrease during year following major WND outbreaks. Combining this information, the future trend of WND may be, to some extent, predicted, in accordance with the climatic conditions observed before the summer peak of WND incidence.
Keywords: West Nile fever; Russia; climate; ecology; prognosis; decision trees West Nile fever; Russia; climate; ecology; prognosis; decision trees
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Platonov, A.E.; Tolpin, V.A.; Gridneva, K.A.; Titkov, A.V.; Platonova, O.V.; Kolyasnikova, N.M.; Busani, L.; Rezza, G. The Incidence of West Nile Disease in Russia in Relation to Climatic and Environmental Factors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1211-1232.

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