International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 873–885 | Cite as

Effect of thermal environment on the temporal, spatial and seasonal occurrence of measles in Ondo state, Nigeria

  • Akinyemi Gabriel Omonijo
  • Andreas Matzarakis
  • Olusegun Oguntoke
  • Clement Olabinjo Adeofun
Original Paper


We investigated the temporal and spatial dynamics, as well as the seasonal occurrence of measles in Ondo state, Nigeria, to better understand the role of the thermal environment in the occurrence of the childhood killer disease measles, which ranks among the top ten leading causes of child deaths worldwide. The linkages between measles and atmospheric environmental factors were examined by correlating human-biometeorological parameters in the study area with reported clinical cases of measles for the period 1998–2008. We also applied stepwise regression analysis in order to determine the human-biometeorological parameters that lead to statistical changes in reported clinical cases of measles. We found that high reported cases of measles are associated with the least populated areas, where rearing and cohabitation of livestock/domestic animals within human communities are common. There was a significant correlation (P < 0.01) between monthly cases of measles and human-biometeorological parameters except wind speed and vapour pressure. High transmission of measles occurred in the months of January to May during the dry season when human thermal comfort indices are very high. This highlights the importance of the thermal environment in disease demographics since it accounted for more than 40% variation in measles transmission within the study period.


Thermal environment Measles Thermal indices Ondo state Nigeria 



Thanks are due to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the award of an International Climate Protection Fellowship to A.G.O., and to the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Ministry of Health and the Agroclimatological and Ecological Monitoring Unit of the Ondo State Government for providing clinical and meteorological data, respectively. The authors would also like to thank the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) and the International Development Research Center (IDRC) for the award of African Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship to A.G.O.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akinyemi Gabriel Omonijo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andreas Matzarakis
    • 1
  • Olusegun Oguntoke
    • 4
  • Clement Olabinjo Adeofun
    • 3
  1. 1.Meteorological InstituteAlbert-Ludwigs-University FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural TechnologyRufus Giwa PolytechnicOwoNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Management and ToxicologyUniversity of AgricultureAbeokutaNigeria
  4. 4.Department of GeographyUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria

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