Seasonal variation in the incidence of influenza is widely assumed. However, few studies have examined non-stationary relationships between global climate factors and influenza epidemics. We examined the monthly incidence of influenza in Fukuoka, Japan, from 2000 to 2012 using cross-wavelet coherency analysis to assess the patterns of associations between indices for the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The monthly incidence of influenza showed cycles of 1 year with the IOD and 2 years with ENSO indices (Multivariate, Niño 4, and Niño 3.4). These associations were non-stationary and appeared to have major influences on the synchrony of influenza epidemics. Our study provides quantitative evidence that non-stationary associations have major influences on synchrony between the monthly incidence of influenza and the dynamics of the IOD and ENSO. Our results call for the consideration of non-stationary patterns of association between influenza cases and climatic factors in early warning systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis