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Does the weather play a role in the spread of pandemic influenza? A study of H1N1pdm09 infections in France during 2009–2010

  • M. VITTECOQ (a1) (a2), B. ROCHE (a3), J.-M. COHEN (a4), F. RENAUD (a2), F. THOMAS (a2) and M. GAUTHIER-CLERC (a1) (a5)...

Summary

Understanding patterns of influenza spread and persistence is crucial for pandemic preparedness. The H1N1pdm09 virus caused the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century which resulted in at least 18500 deaths. Based on laboratory-confirmed primary-care case reports we investigated the role of weather conditions and socio-demographic variables in its initial spread and subsequent presence in France. Our findings suggest that low relative humidity and high population density were determinants in shaping the early spread of the virus at the national level. Those conditions also favoured the persistence of viral presence throughout the first 33 weeks of the pandemic. Additionally this persistence was significantly favoured by low insolation. These results confirm the increasingly recognized role of humidity in influenza dynamics and underlie the concomitant effect of insolation. Therefore climatic factors should be taken into account when designing influenza control and prevention measures.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr M. Vittecoq, Centre de recherche de la Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles, France. (Email: vittecoq@tourduvalat.org)

References

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Does the weather play a role in the spread of pandemic influenza? A study of H1N1pdm09 infections in France during 2009–2010

  • M. VITTECOQ (a1) (a2), B. ROCHE (a3), J.-M. COHEN (a4), F. RENAUD (a2), F. THOMAS (a2) and M. GAUTHIER-CLERC (a1) (a5)...

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