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The role of temperature in reported chickenpox cases from 2000 to 2011 in Japan

  • K. HARIGANE (a1), A. SUMI (a2), K. MISE (a3) and N. KOBAYASHI (a2)

Summary

Annual periodicities of reported chickenpox cases have been observed in several countries. Of these, Japan has reported a two-peaked, bimodal annual cycle of reported chickenpox cases. This study investigated the possible underlying association of the bimodal cycle observed in the surveillance data of reported chickenpox cases with the meteorological factors of temperature, relative humidity and rainfall. A time-series analysis consisting of the maximum entropy method spectral analysis and the least squares method was applied to the chickenpox data and meteorological data of 47 prefectures in Japan. In all of the power spectral densities for the 47 prefectures, the spectral lines were observed at the frequency positions corresponding to the 1-year and 6-month cycles. The optimum least squares fitting (LSF) curves calculated with the 1-year and 6-month cycles explained the underlying variation of the chickenpox data. The LSF curves reproduced the bimodal and unimodal cycles that were clearly observed in northern and southern Japan, respectively. The data suggest that the second peaks in the bimodal cycles in the reported chickenpox cases in Japan occurred at a temperature of approximately 8·5 °C.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: Dr A. Sumi, Department of Hygiene, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, S-1, W-17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060–8556, Japan. (Email: sumi@sapmed.ac.jp)

References

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