THE INFLUENCE OF WEATHER ON MENINGITIS.
Workshop on Meteorological Research and Applications and Services. Mombasa, Kenya 29th September to 3rd October 2003. : Kenya Met Soc Abstract
Weather parameters influence human physiological adaptive activities, such as sweating, the general comfort and vulnerability to disease as well as the survival of disease-causing vectors and pathogens. In this study the influence of weather on Meningitis, one of the killer disease was investigated. Meningitis is caused by an inflammation of the meninges ( membrane) of the brain. The two main forms of meningitis are Aseptic (viral) and Meningococcal bacterial) meningitis. Both forms of meningitis are spread by direct contact, droplets, nasal discharge, and through the air. In the higher latitudes, the Aseptic form has been found to increase in late-summer and early autumn, while the Meningococcal meningitis has been found to increase in winter and spring. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of weather on the increase and spread of meningitis. Economic and social factors such as age and gender were also considered The data of the meningitis cases on monthly basis was collected from Kenyatta National Hospital and Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. All the meningitis cases were confirmed both clinically and by lumber puncture. The age, sex and total number of deaths were also obtained. The results from the analysis showed that meningitis cases were high in March-May, July, September, October and January. The reported male meningitis cases were higher than female cases. Adults and infants cases were more compared to children and teenagers. Minimum temperature indicated a stronger relationship with meningitis compared to other parameters. However, other weather parameters such as maximum temperature, rainfall, relative humidity were also significantly correlated with meningitis.