Associations between seasonal influenza and meteorological parameters in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua

  • Radina P. Soebiyanto Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD; Global Change Data Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States.
  • Wilfrido A. Clara Influenza Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Regional Office for Central America Region, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
  • Jorge Jara Influenza Unit, Center for Health Studies, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
  • Angel Balmaseda National Virology Laboratory, Ministry of Health of Nicaragua, Nicaragua.
  • Jenny Lara Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education on Nutrition and Health, San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Mariel Lopez Moya Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education on Nutrition and Health, San Jose, Costa Rica.
  • Rakhee Palekar Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC, United States.
  • Marc-Alain Widdowson Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States.
  • Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States.
  • Richard K. Kiang | richard.kiang@nasa.gov Global Change Data Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States.

Abstract

Seasonal influenza affects a considerable proportion of the global population each year. We assessed the association between subnational influenza activity and temperature, specific humidity and rainfall in three Central America countries, i.e. Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua. Using virologic data from each country’s national influenza centre, rainfall from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and air temperature and specific humidity data from the Global Land Data Assimilation System, we applied logistic regression methods for each of the five sub-national locations studied. Influenza activity was represented by the weekly proportion of respiratory specimens that tested positive for influenza. The models were adjusted for the potentially confounding co-circulating respiratory viruses, seasonality and previous weeks’ influenza activity. We found that influenza activity was proportionally associated (P<0.05) with specific humidity in all locations [odds ratio (OR) 1.21-1.56 per g/kg], while associations with temperature (OR 0.69-0.81 per °C) and rainfall (OR 1.01-1.06 per mm/day) were location-dependent. Among the meteorological parameters, specific humidity had the highest contribution (~3-15%) to the model in all but one location. As model validation, we estimated influenza activity for periods, in which the data was not used in training the models. The correlation coefficients between the estimates and the observed were ≤0.1 in 2 locations and between 0.6-0.86 in three others. In conclusion, our study revealed a proportional association between influenza activity and specific humidity in selected areas from the three Central America countries.

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Published
2015-11-04
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Influenza, Central America, Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity
Statistics
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How to Cite
Soebiyanto, R. P., Clara, W. A., Jara, J., Balmaseda, A., Lara, J., Lopez Moya, M., Palekar, R., Widdowson, M.-A., Azziz-Baumgartner, E., & Kiang, R. K. (2015). Associations between seasonal influenza and meteorological parameters in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua. Geospatial Health, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2015.372