Online Program

Temporal and spatial analysis of associations between meteorological factors, water quality and enteric infections in urban and rural communities in southern India

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Alexandra Kulinkina, MS, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University School of Engineering, Medford, MA
Vinohar Balraj, MD, MS, Community Health Department, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
M. Venkata Raghava, MD, Community Health Department, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
Elena N. Naumova, PhD, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tufts University School of Engineering, Medford, MA
There is growing evidence confirming the utility of meteorological parameters to enhance forecasting and characterize the risk of enteric infections. This research conducted in partnership with the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India aims to determine environmental parameters influencing the rate of enteric infections in three rural villages and two urban slums. 2287 water samples from public taps and households were collected regularly over a 12-month period. Daily meteorological data were obtained from a regional station. Harmonic regression models (HRM) adapted to time series data and implemented in R statistical software were used to assess the temporal pattern in enteric infections with respect to seasonal fluctuations in water quality (WQ), ambient temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity. The spatial relationships between household and tap WQ were assessed using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Total dissolved solids and coliform exhibited significant seasonal patterns after accounting for meteorological parameters. HRM describe up to 54% variability in temporal behavior of enteric infections (seasonality accounting for 6-30%) with a seasonal peak in diarrhea occurred between mid-February and mid-April. Differences in seasonality for WQ between rural and urban settings were noted. Identifying and characterizing the time periods and locations associated with high risk of exposure to pathogens may allow for more specific targeting of water quality monitoring efforts and intervention strategies. This research demonstrates the utility to routinely collected meteorological and WQ data in identifying environmental risk indicators, particularly useful in resource poor areas and locations with complex water provision schemes.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the seasonal variation in tap and household water quality in urban and rural locations; Evaluate if there is a relationship between household water quality and tap water quality in the community; Identify ways in which objectives 1 and 2 inform the temporal and spatial distribution of risk of enteric infections in the community.

Keyword(s): Diarrhea, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presentation reports on the findings from my master's thesis research supervised by professors and collaborators experienced in epidemiology, statistics, water quality and infectious diseases.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.