Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Pneumonia and respiratory infections

Warm, wet weather associated with increased Legionnaires' disease incidence in The Netherlands

I. KARAGIANNISa1a2 c1, P. BRANDSEMAa1 and M. VAN DER SANDEa1

a1 Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment – RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands

a2 European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), Stockholm, Sweden

SUMMARY

It has been suggested that warm and humid weather is related to a high incidence of Legionnaires' disease (LD), but no data on this association existed in The Netherlands. The objective of this study was to investigate the short-term effects of the weather on LD in The Netherlands. National LD surveillance and meteorological data were obtained. We analysed the data using Poisson regression, adjusting for long-term trends, and using principal components analysis. The highest weekly incidence of LD occurred when the mean weekly temperature was +17·5°C. Mean weekly relative humidity, temperature and precipitation intensity were associated with LD incidence in the multivariable model. Warm, humid and showery summer weather was found to be associated with higher incidence of LD in The Netherlands. These results may be used to predict an increase in the number of cases of LD in The Netherlands during the summer.

(Accepted June 10 2008)

(Online publication July 17 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Mr I. Karagiannis, RIVM – EPI, Postbus 1/pb 75, 3720 BA, Bilthoven, The Netherlands. (Email: ioannis.karagiannis@rivm.nl)

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