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Impacts of Climate on the Incidence of Scrub Typhus

Kim, Jong-Hun; Cheong, Hae-Kwan

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362680.19801.86
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts
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Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea, Republic of.

ISEE-0721

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Background and Objectives:

Scrub typhus is a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. This organism is transmitted by infected trombiculid mites, L. pallidum and L. scutellare. It is widely distributed in the Australasian regions and parts of the Palearctic, including eastern Asia. The incidence of Scrub typhus in Korea has shown increasing trend during last decades. This study was conducted to find relationship between the incidence of disease and climate elements.

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Subjects and Methods:

We examined all cases of Scrub typhus from 2004 to 2008 which have been reported to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Korea. We assessed the correlations between the incidence of Scrub typhus and climate elements obtained from Korea Meteorological Administration.

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Results:

Region that vector mites, L. palladium was predominant had shown high negative correlation between the incidence and relative humidity of late summer and early autumn season. The mean of winter daily minimum temperature had shown weak positive correlation with disease incidence in the region L. scutellare was predominant.

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Conclusion:

Natural environment including climate conditions could affect the development and survival of larva mite. Climate change may have an effect on increasing trend of Scrub typhus. Our results show the possible evidences that the incidence of Scrub typhus is affected by climate elements changed by global warming.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.