Kawasaki disease and ENSO-driven wind circulation

TitleKawasaki disease and ENSO-driven wind circulation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBallester J., Burns J.C, Cayan D, Nakamura Y., Uehara R., Rodo X
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2013/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000328840200070
Keywordscholera dynamics; El Nino and La Nina; El Nino-Southern oscillation; el-nino; events; Kawasaki disease; ocean conditions; progress; southern oscillation; surface; teleconnections; tropical-extratropical teleconnections; tropospheric winds

Kawasaki disease (KD) is the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children worldwide. Recently, a climatological study suggested that KD may be triggered by a windborne agent traveling across the north Pacific through the westerly wind flow prevailing at midlatitudes. Here we use KD records to describe the association between enhanced disease activity on opposite sides of the basin and different phases of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, via the linkage to these tropospheric winds. Results show that years with higher-than-normal KD cases in Japan preferentially occur during either El Nino Modoki or La Nina conditions, while in San Diego during the mature phase of El Nino or La Nina events. Given that ENSO offers a degree of predictability at lead times of 6 months, these modulations suggest that seasonal predictions of KD could be used to alert clinicians to periods of increased disease activity.

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