The impact of meteorology on the occurrence of waterborne outbreaks of vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC): a logistic regression approach

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study analyses the relationship between meteorological phenomena and outbreaks of waterborne-transmitted vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) in the Republic of Ireland over an 8-year period (2005–2012). Data pertaining to the notification of waterborne VTEC outbreaks were extracted from the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting system, which is administered through the national Health Protection Surveillance Centre as part of the Health Service Executive. Rainfall and temperature data were obtained from the national meteorological office and categorised as cumulative rainfall, heavy rainfall events in the previous 7 days, and mean temperature. Regression analysis was performed using logistic regression (LR) analysis. The LR model was significant (p < 0.001), with all independent variables: cumulative rainfall, heavy rainfall and mean temperature making a statistically significant contribution to the model. The study has found that rainfall, particularly heavy rainfall in the preceding 7 days of an outbreak, is a strong statistical indicator of a waterborne outbreak and that temperature also impacts waterborne VTEC outbreak occurrence.

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