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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Linking climate and infectious disease trends in the Northern/Arctic Region

Ma, Yan; Destouni, Georgia; Kalantari, Zahra; Omazic, Anna; Evengård, Birgitta; Berggren, Camilla; Thierfelder, Tomas


Recognition of climate-sensitive infectious diseases is crucial for mitigating health threats from climate change. Recent studies have reasoned about potential climate sensitivity of diseases in the Northern/Arctic Region, where climate change is particularly pronounced. By linking disease and climate data for this region, we here comprehensively quantify empirical climate-disease relationships. Results show significant relationships of borreliosis, leptospirosis, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), Puumala virus infection, cryptosporidiosis, and Q fever with climate variables related to temperature and freshwater conditions. These data-driven results are consistent with previous reasoning-based propositions of climate-sensitive infections as increasing threats for humans, with notable exceptions for TBE and leptospirosis. For the latter, the data imply decrease with increasing temperature and precipitation experienced in, and projected for, the Northern/Arctic Region. This study provides significant data-based underpinning for simplified empirical assessments of the risks of several infectious diseases under future climate change.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2021, volume: 11, number: 1, article number: 20678

Authors' information

Ma, Yan
Stockholm University
Destouni, Georgia
Stockholm University
Kalantari, Zahra
Stockholm University
Omazic, Anna
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)
Evengård, Birgitta
Umeå University
Berggren, Camilla
Capio Medical Center
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG3 Good health and well-being

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Environmental Sciences
Climate Research

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