Sea levels could predict cholera outbreak

February 18, 2006

U.S. researchers have discovered changes in sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean are linked to cholera epidemics in Bangladesh.

Cholera expert Mercedes Pascual and her colleagues are studying cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh, where extensive health records stretching back to the late 1800s and biweekly case reports taken during a 1966 surveillance program document disease trends in unique detail.

Pascual discovered that cholera transmission is highest during high rain and flooding, when sanitary conditions tend to break down and people are forced into tight quarters. She speculates that high rain events are linked to warmer ocean conditions in the Pacific during el Nino events.

There is a possibility of using ocean temperatures as an early warning system to predict and prevent disease outbreaks, according to Pascual.

The findings were presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St. Louis.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Haitians struggle for clean water weeks after hurricane

Related Stories

Why can't we stop cholera in Haiti?

July 7, 2015

In early February, when Jenniflore Abelard arrived at her parents' house high in the hills of Port-au-Prince, her father Johnson (names have been changed) was home. He was lying in the yard, under a tree, vomiting. When Jenniflore ...

Source of Haiti cholera bug goes under microscope

July 17, 2012

(AP) — The death rate from the Haiti cholera epidemic that has killed more than 7,000 people over the past two years has finally ebbed, but the debate about the source of the disease has only grown more heated.

Cholera strain in Haiti matches bacteria from south Asia

December 9, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, with others from the United States and Haiti, has determined that the strain of cholera ...

Recommended for you

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

Humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna

January 20, 2017

New evidence involving the ancient poop of some of the huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia indicates the primary cause of their extinction around 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.