Climate change is adversely impacting the burden of diarrheal diseases. Despite significant reduction in global prevalence, diarrheal disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among young children in low- and middle-income countries. Previous studies have shown that diarrheal disease is associated with meteorological conditions but the role of large-scale climate phenomena such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and monsoon anomaly is less understood. We obtained 13 years (2002–2014) of diarrheal disease data from Nepal and investigated how the disease rate is associated with phases of ENSO (El Niño, La Niña, vs. ENSO neutral) monsoon rainfall anomaly (below normal, above normal, vs. normal), and changes in timing of monsoon onset, and withdrawal (early, late, vs. normal). Monsoon season was associated with a 21% increase in diarrheal disease rates (Incident Rate Ratios [IRR]: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.16–1.27). El Niño was associated with an 8% reduction in risk while the La Niña was associated with a 32% increase in under-5 diarrheal disease rates. Likewise, higher-than-normal monsoon rainfall was associated with increased rates of diarrheal disease, with considerably higher rates observed in the mountain region (IRR 1.51, 95% CI: 1.19–1.92). Our findings suggest that under-5 diarrheal disease burden in Nepal ismore »
Childhood diarrheal disease causes significant morbidity and mortality in low and middle-income countries, yet our ability to accurately predict diarrhea incidence remains limited. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been shown to affect diarrhea dynamics in South America and Asia. However, understanding of its effects in sub-Saharan Africa, where the burden of under-5 diarrhea is high, remains inadequate. Here we investigate the connections between ENSO, local environmental conditions, and childhood diarrheal disease in Chobe District, Botswana. Our results demonstrate that La Niña conditions are associated with cooler temperatures, increased rainfall, and higher flooding in the Chobe region during the rainy season. In turn, La Niña conditions lagged 0–5 months are associated with higher than average incidence of under-5 diarrhea in the early rainy season. These findings demonstrate the potential use of ENSO as a long-lead prediction tool for childhood diarrhea in southern Africa.
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- Nature Communications
- Nature Publishing Group
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- National Science Foundation
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Effects of Climatic Factors on Diarrheal Diseases among Children below 5 Years of Age at National and Subnational Levels in Nepal: An Ecological StudyIntroduction: The incidence of diarrhea, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in low-income countries such as Nepal, is temperature-sensitive, suggesting it could be associated with climate change. With climate change fueled increases in the mean and variability of temperature and precipitation, the incidence of water and food-borne diseases are increasing, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This national-level ecological study was undertaken to provide evidence linking weather and climate with diarrhea incidence in Nepal. Method: We analyzed monthly diarrheal disease count and meteorological data from all districts, spanning 15 eco-development regions of Nepal. Meteorological data and monthly data on diarrheal disease were sourced, respectively, from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and Health Management Information System (HMIS) of the Government of Nepal for the period from 2002 to 2014. Time-series log-linear regression models assessed the relationship between maximum temperature, minimum temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, and diarrhea burden. Predictors with p-values < 0.25 were retained in the fitted models. Results: Overall, diarrheal disease incidence in Nepal significantly increased with 1 °C increase in mean temperature (4.4%; 95% CI: 3.95, 4.85) and 1 cm increase in rainfall (0.28%; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.41). Seasonal variation of diarrheal incidence was prominent atmore »
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