Impacts of extreme weather events on enteric infectious disease outbreaks: evidence from New Zealand
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Department of Public Health, Health Environment and Infection Research Unit, Otago University, Wellington, New Zealand
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A175
In 2016, the largest recorded water-borne outbreak of Campylobacter affected thousands of people in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand (NZ). Investigations suggested that heavy rainfall had led to contamination of the water supply with livestock faeces. Climate change is already causing changes in the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather with important implications for public health. In this study, we test the hypothesis that enteric disease outbreaks are associated with climate patterns in New Zealand. We have identified outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal infections (AGI), based on Spatio-temporal analyses of notifications (2000 to 2019). We will estimate the relationship between AGI and weather variables (daily temperature and rainfall), accounting for modifying effects of local factors (e.g. water supply characteristics) using Poisson regression methods. We present our initial Results of the association between extreme precipitation events and campylobacteriosis in the Hawkes Bay region. Our analysis provides a more precise picture of the effect of extreme climate events on AGI outbreaks. It has a practical application as it provides inputs for evidence-based policy to minimise enteric disease risks associated with climate extremes by implementing appropriate actions such as improving water treatment in networked suppliers and climate-based early warning systems.