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Variability in the seasonality of cholera

Research Achievements

Variability in the seasonality of cholera

In a paper published this past year, an interdisciplinary and international group of scientists that included IGERT faculty (Emch) and an IGERT trainee (Feldacker) investigated variability in the seasonality of cholera around the world. Using data compiled from the World Health Organization Weekly Epidemiological Reports 1974-2005, they analyzed whether season, latitude, and their interaction are significantly associated with the country-level number of outbreaks in each of the 12 preceding months. Their results show a seasonal pattern for outbreaks in higher absolute latitudes, but not closer to the equator, suggesting that environmental and climatic factors partially control the temporal variability of cholera. Based on their research, it appears that rises in sea levels and temperatures expected as part of global warming may influence the temporal fluctuations of cholera, potentially increasing the frequency and duration of cholera outbreaks.