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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2018

Authors: Hutter, SE; Käsbohrer, A; González, SLF; León, B; Brugger, K; Baldi, M; Mario Romero, L; Gao, Y; Chaves, LF

Title: Assessing changing weather and the El Niño Southern Oscillation impacts on cattle rabies outbreaks and mortality in Costa Rica (1985-2016).

Source: BMC Vet Res. 2018; 14(1):285

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Baldi Mario
Brugger Katharina
Hutter Sabine
Käsbohrer Annemarie

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Medicine
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

Rabies is a major zoonotic disease affecting humans, domestic and wildlife mammals. Cattle are the most important domestic animals impacted by rabies virus in the New World, leading to thousands of cattle deaths per year and eliciting large economic losses. In the New World, virus transmission in cattle is primarily associated with Desmodus rotundus, the common vampire bat. This study analyses the association of weather fluctuations and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with the occurrence and magnitude, in terms of associated mortality, of cattle rabies outbreaks. Data from the 100 cattle rabies outbreaks recorded between 1985 and 2016 in Costa Rica were analyzed. Periodograms for time series of rabies outbreaks and the El Niño 4 index were estimated. Seasonality was studied using a seasonal boxplot. The association between epidemiological and climatic time series was studied via cross wavelet coherence analysis. Retrospective space-time scan cluster analyses were also performed. Finally, seasonal autoregressive time series models were fitted to study linear associations between monthly number of outbreaks, monthly mortality rates and the El Niño 4 index, temperature, and rainfall.

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