Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Coccidioidomycosis and climate variability in Southwest US: A systematic review

Document Type

Poster

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

Valley Fever, Climate Change, Coccidioidomycosis, precipitation, Southwest US

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2019

Abstract

Coccidioidomycosis, or more commonly known, Valley Fever, is an infection caused by inhaling a fungus that is found in the Southwest US, including California and Arizona. Coccidioidomycosis has a substantial public health impact. It is also a huge financial burden on the state's economy. Populations as pregnant women, children, elderly and certain ethnic groups such as Filipino Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans are particularly susceptible to coccidioidomycosis. The fungus causing coccidioidomycosis is sensitive to climate variability and seems to respond to changes in temperature and moisture. Climate change can exacerbate coccidioidomycosis incidence because the precipitation is projections to increase in the next decades. The objective of this systematic review is to explore the relationship between climate change and Valley Fever, with a specific focus on weather conditions result in an increase in coccidioidomycosis incidence in the Southwest United States. The review found the climatic factors contributing to extreme heat events and droughts are strongly associated with increasing incidence of coccidioidomycosis. Particularly, precipitation seems to be a stronger predictor, and temperature has varying degree of association to coccidioidomycosis incidence. The relationship is not determined by a single driver, and it is a complex interplay of environmental, climatic and human factors. This review confirms the relationship between coccidioidomycosis incidence and climatic variables, and climate change can make the situation worse.

Open Access

1

Comments

Presented at Research Days 2019.

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Coccidioidomycosis and climate variability in Southwest US: A systematic review

Coccidioidomycosis, or more commonly known, Valley Fever, is an infection caused by inhaling a fungus that is found in the Southwest US, including California and Arizona. Coccidioidomycosis has a substantial public health impact. It is also a huge financial burden on the state's economy. Populations as pregnant women, children, elderly and certain ethnic groups such as Filipino Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans are particularly susceptible to coccidioidomycosis. The fungus causing coccidioidomycosis is sensitive to climate variability and seems to respond to changes in temperature and moisture. Climate change can exacerbate coccidioidomycosis incidence because the precipitation is projections to increase in the next decades. The objective of this systematic review is to explore the relationship between climate change and Valley Fever, with a specific focus on weather conditions result in an increase in coccidioidomycosis incidence in the Southwest United States. The review found the climatic factors contributing to extreme heat events and droughts are strongly associated with increasing incidence of coccidioidomycosis. Particularly, precipitation seems to be a stronger predictor, and temperature has varying degree of association to coccidioidomycosis incidence. The relationship is not determined by a single driver, and it is a complex interplay of environmental, climatic and human factors. This review confirms the relationship between coccidioidomycosis incidence and climatic variables, and climate change can make the situation worse.