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Towards development of functional climate-driven early warning systems for climate-sensitive infectious diseases: Statistical models and recommendations


  • Haque, Shovanur
  • Mengersen, Kerrie
  • Barr, Ian
  • Wang, Liping
  • Yang, Weizhong
  • Vardoulakis, Sotiris
  • Bambrick, Hilary
  • Hu, Wenbiao


Environmental Research, Volume 249, 2024-05-15

Article Link: Click here

Climate, weather and environmental change have significantly influenced patterns of infectious disease transmission, necessitating the development of early warning systems to anticipate potential impacts and respond in a timely and effective way. Statistical modelling plays a pivotal role in understanding the intricate relationships between climatic factors and infectious disease transmission. For example, time series regression modelling and spatial cluster analysis have been employed to identify risk factors and predict spatial and temporal patterns of infectious diseases. Recently advanced spatio-temporal models and machine learning offer an increasingly robust framework for modelling uncertainty, which is essential in climate-driven disease surveillance due to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the data. Moreover, Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, including deep learning and neural networks, excel in capturing intricate patterns and hidden relationships within climate and environmental data sets. Web-based data has emerged as a powerful complement to other datasets encompassing climate variables and disease occurrences. However, given the complexity and non-linearity of climate-disease interactions, advanced techniques are required to integrate and analyse these diverse data to obtain more accurate predictions of impending outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics. This article presents an overview of an approach to creating climate-driven early warning systems with a focus on statistical model suitability and selection, along with recommendations for utilizing spatio-temporal and machine learning techniques. By addressing the limitations and embracing the recommendations for future research, we could enhance preparedness and response strategies, ultimately contributing to the safeguarding of public health in the face of evolving climate challenges.