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Adriano Mazzarella& Andrea Giuliacci & Fabrizio Pregliasco

 

Hypothesis on a possible role of El Niño in the occurrenceof influenza pandemic

Theoretical and Applied Climatology

Abstract

 

Abstract The El Niño phenomenon is the Earth's strongest climatic fluctuation on an interannual timescale and has a quasi-global impact, although originating in the tropical Pacific Ocean. A very strong El Niño is recognized to cause extreme dryness and wetness in different parts of the world. We show that all the eight well-documented influenza pandemics, starting from the first certain one documented in AD 1580, originated in China and in Russia, a few years after the occurrence of a very strong or after a prolonged strong/moderate El Niño event. At present, the next El Niño will probably occur at the beginning of 2013 (Mazzarella et al. Theor Appl Climatol 100:23–27, 2010), and this forecast may suggest to be well prepared to take appropriate precautionary
epidemiological measures.