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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 767-783; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100767

A Method for Screening Climate Change-Sensitive Infectious Diseases

1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Mathematical Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shlomit Paz
Received: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 18 December 2014 / Published: 14 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on Vector-borne Diseases)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1984 KB, uploaded 14 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to human health, especially where infectious diseases are involved. Because of the complex interactions between climate variables and infectious disease components (i.e., pathogen, host and transmission environment), systematically and quantitatively screening for infectious diseases that are sensitive to climate change is still a challenge. To address this challenge, we propose a new statistical indicator, Relative Sensitivity, to identify the difference between the sensitivity of the infectious disease to climate variables for two different climate statuses (i.e., historical climate and present climate) in non-exposure and exposure groups. The case study in Anhui Province, China has demonstrated the effectiveness of this Relative Sensitivity indicator. The application results indicate significant sensitivity of many epidemic infectious diseases to climate change in the form of changing climatic variables, such as temperature, precipitation and absolute humidity. As novel evidence, this research shows that absolute humidity has a critical influence on many observed infectious diseases in Anhui Province, including dysentery, hand, foot and mouth disease, hepatitis A, hemorrhagic fever, typhoid fever, malaria, meningitis, influenza and schistosomiasis. Moreover, some infectious diseases are more sensitive to climate change in rural areas than in urban areas. This insight provides guidance for future health inputs that consider spatial variability in response to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; infectious diseases; climate change-sensitive diseases; relative sensitivity; screening method climate change; infectious diseases; climate change-sensitive diseases; relative sensitivity; screening method
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, Y.; Rao, Y.; Wu, X.; Zhao, H.; Chen, J. A Method for Screening Climate Change-Sensitive Infectious Diseases. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 767-783.

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