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Predicting Valley Fever Incidence
This project sought to discover the basic relationship between climate conditions and valley fever incidence, the climate variables that were important determinants of incidence, and if incidence could be predicted by climate conditions.
Researchers compared medical records documenting valley fever incidence and climate data from Kern County, CA and Pima County, AZ from 1989-1998. The data analysis revealed a complex relationship in which winter and summer rains play a key factor. The number of peak cases in Pima Co. usually occurred in the dry months right before the summer monsoon and again in November and December.
The researchers developed a model to predict valley fever outbreaks for Pima Co. using climate forecasts and weather data to project future risks for the disease.