Meteorological influence on the 2009 influenza a (H1N1) pandemic in mainland China

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Environmental Earth Sciences, ISSN: 1866-6280, Vol: 75, Issue: 10, Page: 878

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Xuyi Zhao, Jun Cai, Duole Feng, Yuqi Bai, Bing Xu
Springer Nature
Environmental Science, Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Earth and Planetary Sciences
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Since May 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) pandemic has spread rapidly in mainland China from Mexico. Although there has been substantial analysis of this influenza, a reliable work estimating its spatial dynamics and determinants remain scarce. The survival and transmission of this pandemic virus not only depends on its biological properties, but also a correlation with external environmental factors. In this study, we collected daily influenza A (H1N1) cases and corresponding annual meteorological factors in mainland China from May 2009 to April 2010. By analyzing these data at county-level, a similarity index, which considered the spatio-temporal characteristics of the disease, was proposed to evaluate the role and lag time of meteorological factors in the influenza transmission. The results indicated that the influenza spanned a large geographical area, following an overall trend from east to west across the country. The spatio-temporal transmission of the disease was affected by a series of meteorological variables, especially absolute humidity with a 3-week lag. These findings confirmed that the absolute humidity and other meteorological variables contributed to the local occurrence and dispersal of influenza A (H1N1). The impact of meteorological variables and their lag effects could be involved in the improvement of effective strategies to control and prevent the disease outbreaks.

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