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Effects of climatic factors on the prevalence of influenza virus infection in Cheonan, Korea

Abstract

Big data can be used to correlate diseases and climatic factors. The prevalence of influenza (flu) virus, accounting for a large proportion of respiratory infections, suggests that the effect of climate variables according to seasonal dynamics of influenza virus infections should be investigated. Here, trends in flu virus detection were analyzed using data from 9,010 tests performed between January 2012 and December 2018 at Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea. We compared the detection of the flu virus in Cheonan area and its association with climate change. The flu virus detection rate was 9.9% (894/9,010), and the detection rate was higher for flu virus A (FLUAV; 6.9%) than for flu virus B (FLUBV; 3.0%). Both FLUAV and FLUBV infections are considered an epidemic each year. We identified 43.1% (n = 385) and 35.0% (n = 313) infections in children aged < 10 years and adults aged > 60 years, respectively. The combination of these age groups encompassed 78.1% (n = 698/894) of the total data. Flu virus infections correlated with air temperature, relative humidity, vapor pressure, atmospheric pressure, particulate matter, and wind chill temperature (P < 0.001). However, the daily temperature range did not significantly correlate with the flu detection results. This is the first study to identify the relationship between long-term flu virus infection with temperature in the temperate region of Cheonan.

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Data availability

The data used in this study are available from the National Institute of Environmental Research with restrictions. We used the data under a license. Data are available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of the National Institute of Environmental Research.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a research program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Korea (Grant number NRF-2019R1I1A3A01059633).

Funding

This work was supported by a research program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Korea (Grant number NRF-2019R1I1A3A01059633).

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Contributions

Jae Kyung Kim and Dong Kyu Lim made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study. Jong wan Kim made substantial contribution to the acquisition and analysis of data. All authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the study to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to Jae Kyung Kim.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board Committee of Dankook University (No. 2019-12-007) and was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.

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Responsible Editor: Lotfi Aleya

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Dong Kyu Lim and Jong wan Kim are co-first authors.

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Lim, D.K., Kim, J.w. & Kim, J.K. Effects of climatic factors on the prevalence of influenza virus infection in Cheonan, Korea. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-20070-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-20070-y

Keywords

  • Climate
  • Flu virus
  • Meteorology
  • Respiratory infection
  • Seasonal epidemiology
  • Temperate region