South Atlantic ocean temperatures can predict India malaria epidemics – LivemintPosted: March 4, 2013
R. Dhiman, co-author and senior scientist at the National Institute of Malaria Research in New Delhi, said that rainfall alone wasn’t a strong enough indicator for an outbreak. “The July temperatures possibly portend high rainfall, as well as vegetation levels in the region and together these may explain why outbreaks are caused during particular periods.” He added that the future course of study would look at Karnataka and other districts with episodic malaria outbreaks.
Lead author Mercedes Pascual of the University of Michigan, whose previous work includes developing a model to predict cholera outbreaks, said that the study had immense practical benefits. “The climate link we have uncovered can be used as an indicator of malaria risk,” she said in a press statement. “On the practical side, we hope these findings can be used as part of an early warning system.”
While the greatest number of malarial cases are found in coastal states such as Orissa where malaria is endemic, the implications of the present study are restricted to places where malaria strikes seasonally, Dhiman said.