lancet-header
Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals and other research experts identify content of interest prior to publication. These preprint papers are not peer-reviewed. Authors have either opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet, or submitted directly via SSRN. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These papers should not be used for clinical decision making or reporting of research to a lay audience without indicating that this is preliminary research that has not been peer-reviewed. For more information see the Comment published in The Lancet, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact preprints@lancet.com

Comparison of Epidemical Features of Seasonal Influenza Across Different Climatic Zones in Australia

35 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2019

See all articles by Wenbiao Hu

Wenbiao Hu

Queensland University of Technology - School of Public Health and Social Work

Xiaodong Huang

Queensland University of Technology

Gabriel Milinovich

Queensland University of Technology

Ian Barr

World Health Organization

Hilary Bambrick

Queensland University of Technology

More...

Abstract

Background: Seasonal influenza epidemic patterns have been highly influenced by weather and usually vary by tropical, subtropical and temperate climates. Few studies investigate the features of seasonal influenza in different age groups among geo-climatic regions according to a specific climatic condition.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the differences in the epidemical features of influenza A and B among six climatic zones in three age groups (<15, 15-64 and 65+ years) in Australia.

Methods: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) data on weekly laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A and B at a postcode level were collected from the Australian Government Department of Health between 1st January 2011 and 31st December 2013. Spatial and temporal descriptive analyses and Dunnett-Tukey-Kramer (DTK) pairwise multiple comparison tests were used to investigate the differences in seasonal patterns, durations, peak timings and epidemic magnitude for influenza A and B, stratified by the six climatic zones and age group. Bayesian space-time models based on a spatial conditional autoregressive (CAR) model combined with a susceptible, infectious and removed (SIR) model was used to estimate transmission rates to explore differences in evolution of influenza A and B epidemics.

Results: There were significant differences in mean weekly notification rates of influenza A and B among the six climatic zones in the 0-14 and 15-64 age groups. Mean weekly notification rates were more likely to be higher in the areas with a warm winter or a mild winter than in the area with relatively colder winter. The ≥65 age group showed less spatial variation in mean weekly notification rates of influenza A and B among the six climatic zones. Mean duration, peak timing and transmission rates of influenza A and B epidemics did not display synchronicity between either the three age groups or the six climatic zones. The magnitude of the linear growth and decay rates of mean weekly transmission rates varied by different climatic zones and age groups.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the epidemic features of influenza A and B vary between geo-climatic regions and age groups. Our findings provide valuable insight for public health authorities to adjust prevention and control strategies of seasonal influenza for specific age groups in specific climatic regions in Australia.

Funding Statement: W.H was supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT140101216).

Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Seasonal influenza epidemics, transmission rate, climatic zone, epidemic duration, epidemic peak timing

Suggested Citation

Hu, Wenbiao and Huang, Xiaodong and Milinovich, Gabriel and Barr, Ian and Bambrick, Hilary, Comparison of Epidemical Features of Seasonal Influenza Across Different Climatic Zones in Australia (December 27, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307714 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3307714

Wenbiao Hu (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology - School of Public Health and Social Work ( email )

Queensland
Australia

Xiaodong Huang

Queensland University of Technology

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Gabriel Milinovich

Queensland University of Technology

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Ian Barr

World Health Organization

20 Avenue Appia
Geneva 27, CH-1211
Switzerland

Hilary Bambrick

Queensland University of Technology

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

Click here to go to TheLancet.com

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
200
Downloads
17