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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

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

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being
    SDG13 Climate action

    UKÄ Subject classification

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

    Publication identifier


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