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J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 43(5); 2010 > Article
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2010;43(5): 436-444. doi: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2010.43.5.436
Correlations Between Climate Change-Related Infectious Diseases and Meteorological Factors in Korea.
Si Heon Kim, Jae Yeon Jang
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Ajou University, Korea. free5293@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: Infectious diseases are known to be affected by climate change. We investigated if the infectious diseases were related to meteorological factors in Korea. METHODS: Scrub typhus, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), leptospirosis, malaria and Vibrio vulnificus sepsis among the National Notifiable Infectious Diseases were selected as the climate change-related infectious diseases. Temperature, relative humidity and precipitation were used as meteorological factors. The study period was from 2001 through 2008. We examined the seasonality of the diseases and those correlations with meteorological factors. We also analyzed the correlations between the incidences of the diseases during the outbreak periods and monthly meteorological factors in the hyper-endemic regions. RESULTS: All of the investigated diseases showed strong seasonality; malaria and V. vulnificus sepsis were prevalent in summer and scrub typhus, HFRS and leptospirosis were prevalent in the autumn. There were significant correlations between the monthly numbers of cases and all the meteorological factors for malaria and V. vulnificus sepsis, but there were no correlation for the other diseases. However, the incidence of scrub typhus in hyper-endemic region during the outbreak period was positively correlated with temperature and humidity during the summer. The incidences of HFRS and leptospirosis had positive correlations with precipitation in November and temperature and humidity in February, respectively. V. vulnificus sepsis showed positive correlations with precipitation in April/May/July. CONCLUSIONS: In Korea, the incidences of the infectious diseases were correlated with meteorological factors, and this implies that the incidences could be influenced by climate change.
Key words: Climate change; Communicable diseases; Disease vectors; Meteorological concepts
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