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Open AccessArticle

The Three Gorges Dam: Does the Flooding Time Determine the Distribution of Schistosome-Transmitting Snails in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River, China?

by Yu Yang 1,2,3, Sheng-Bang Zheng 1,2,3, Ya Yang 1,2,3, Wan-Ting Cheng 1,2,3, Xiang Pan 1,2,3, Qing-Qing Dai 4, Yue Chen 5, Lan Zhu 4, Qing-Wu Jiang 1,2,3 and Yi-Biao Zhou 1,2,3,*
1
Fudan University School of Public Health, Building 8, 130 Dong’an Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200032, China
2
Key Laboratory of Public Health Safety, Fudan University, Ministry of Education, Building 8, 130 Dong An Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200032, China
3
Fudan University Center for Tropical Disease Research, Building 8, 130 Dong’an Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200032, China
4
Department of Statistics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, WA 74078, USA
5
School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, Ottawa, ON K1G 5Z3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071304
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Background: Schistosomiasis is one of the most devastating tropical diseases in the world. Oncomelania hupensis is the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, and its growth and development are sensitive to environmental factors. The Three Gorges Dam has substantially altered the water level in the Yangtze River. This study focused on the impact of the flooding time on the occurrence of Oncomelania snails in Hunan Province, China. Methods: The data regarding Oncomelania snails were collected from the Schistosomiasis Atlas of the People’s Republic of China. Air temperature, hours of daylight and relative humidity from 1995 to 2002 were collected from the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service System. The data for rainfall and days inundated with water were collected from the Hunan flood control information system and hydrological stations in Hunan Province. A generalized additive model was used to estimate the impact of these factors on the presence or absence of snails. Results: The number of days inundated with water in the areas with snails ranged from 56 to 212 days. However, 82 percent of the areas without snails were inundated with water less than 60 days. The lowest air temperature in a year in the areas without snails ranges from −2.88 °C to −2.10 °C, and the range was from −2.88 °C to −2.34 °C for areas with snails. Annual rainfall in the areas with snails ranged from 989 to 1565 mm, and the range was from 1230 mm to 1647 mm for the areas without snails. The results from the generalized additive model showed that the number of days inundated with water, lowest air temperature in a year, annual rainfall, days of daily rainfall greater than 0.1 mm, and hours of daylight were the factors that significantly affect the occurrence of snails in Hunan Province, China. Conclusions: The number of days inundated with water may be a key factor determining the geographical distribution of Oncomelania snails in Hunan Province and the favorable number of days inundated with water for the survival of snails ranges from about 2 to 7 months. View Full-Text
Keywords: Three Gorges Dam; Schistosomiasis japonica; Oncomelania hupensis; flooding; geographical distribution Three Gorges Dam; Schistosomiasis japonica; Oncomelania hupensis; flooding; geographical distribution
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Yang, Y.; Zheng, S.-B.; Yang, Y.; Cheng, W.-T.; Pan, X.; Dai, Q.-Q.; Chen, Y.; Zhu, L.; Jiang, Q.-W.; Zhou, Y.-B. The Three Gorges Dam: Does the Flooding Time Determine the Distribution of Schistosome-Transmitting Snails in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River, China? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1304.

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