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The Incidence of Norovirus-Associated Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Victoria, Australia (2002–2007) and Their Relationship with Rainfall

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph7072822

Keywords: norovirus, rainfall, lag, outbreaks

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Abstract:

The relationship between the incidence of norovirus-associated gastroenteritis outbreaks (NAGOs) in Victoria, Australia for the period 2002–2007 and rainfall was examined. Statistical analysis involving the correlation between time series indicated that there was a statistically significant (p < 0.05) correlation between monthly NAGO incidence and average monthly rainfall. There was a lag of an average of about three months between peak average rainfall and a NAGO epidemic. The findings thus indicate rainfall can influence NAGO incidence. In an era where there is concern about the potential effects of global warming on weather patterns, it should be borne in mind that future changes in NAGO incidence may reflect altered world weather patterns.

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