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Civil and Environmental Engineering


Cholera, an acute diarrheal disease spread by lack of hygiene and contaminated water, is a major public health risk in many countries. As cholera is triggered by environmental conditions influenced by climatic variables, establishing a correlation between cholera incidence and climatic variables would provide an opportunity to develop a cholera forecasting model. Considering the auto-regressive nature and the seasonal behavioral patterns of cholera, a seasonal-auto-regressive-integrated-moving-average (SARIMA) model was used for time-series analysis during 2000–2013. As both rainfall (r = 0.43) and maximum temperature (r = 0.56) have the strongest influence on the occurrence of cholera incidence, single-variable (SVMs) and multi-variable SARIMA models (MVMs) were developed, compared and tested for evaluating their relationship with cholera incidence. A low relationship was found with relative humidity (r = 0.28), ENSO (r = 0.21) and SOI (r = −0.23). Using SVM for a 1 °C increase in maximum temperature at one-month lead time showed a 7% increase of cholera incidence (p < 0.001). However, MVM (AIC = 15, BIC = 36) showed better performance than SVM (AIC = 21, BIC = 39). An MVM using rainfall and monthly mean daily maximum temperature with a one-month lead time showed a better fit (RMSE = 14.7, MAE = 11) than the MVM with no lead time (RMSE = 16.2, MAE = 13.2) in forecasting. This result will assist in predicting cholera risks and better preparedness for public health management in the future.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.