Date of Award

7-28-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Susan Walcott - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Paul Knapp - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

John Allensworth

Abstract

Linkages between influenza prevalence and climate (e.g. precipitation, temperatures, El Nino Southern Oscillation ENSO) have been suspected, but definitive evidence remains elusive. This analysis investigated a climatic relationship between influenza mortality (measured by multiple caused pneumonia and influenza deaths) and influenza morbidity (measured by isolates tested for influenza). Influenza-climate linkages were analyzed at multiple spatial scales (e.g. local analysis, and regional analysis) and multiple temporal scales (e.g. annualized mortality counts, and mortality counts based on cumulative percentiles). Influenza mortality and morbidity were found to have significant correlations to seasonal temperatures, precipitation, and ENSO. Influenza-climate associations varied spatially and temporally, and underscore the importance of considering geographic scale in investigative analyses of disease. Evidence for an influenza-climate relationship provides a greater understanding of the enviro-climatic factors that can contribute to an influenza epidemic, and provides an impetus for further studies that incorporate climatic factors in influenza risk modeling.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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