Effects of meteorological factors on the incidence of meningococcal meningitis
Background and Objectives: Substantial climate changes have led to the emergence and re-emergence of various infectious diseases worldwide, presenting an imperative need to explore the effects of meteorological factors on serious contagious disease incidences such as that of meningococcal meningitis (MCM).
Methods: The incidences of MCM and meteorology data between 1981 and 2010 were obtained from Chaoyang city. Structure Equation Modeling was used to analyze the relationships between meteorological factors and the incidence of MCM, using the LISREL software.
Results: The SEM results showed that Adjusted Goodness of Fit Index (AGFI) = 0.30, Goodness of Fit Index (GFI) = 0.63, and Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.31. Humidity and temperature both had negative correlations with MCM incidence, with factor loads of -0.32 and -0.43, while sunshine was positively correlated with a factor load of 0.42. For specific observable variables, average air pressure, average evaporation, average air temperature, and average ground temperature exerted stronger influence, with item loads between observable variables and MCM incidence being -0.42, 0.34, -0.32, and -0.32 respectively.
Conclusion: Public health institutions should pay more attention to the meteorological variables of humidity, sunshine, and temperature in prospective MCM control and prevention.
Keywords: Meningococcal meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis, epidemiology, humidity, temperature, sunshine, meteorological variables, structure equation model