Environmental factors and seasonal influenza onset in Okayama City, Japan: Case-crossover study

Yuuki Tsuchihashi, Takashi Yorifujr, Soshi Takao, Etsuji Suzuki, Shigeru Mori, Hiroyuki Doi, Toshihide Tsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Seasonal influenza infection is a major challenge in public health. The term "seasonal influenza" refers to the typical increase in the number of influenza patients in the winter season in temperature zones. However, it is not clear how environmental factors within a single flu season affect influenza infection in a human population. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of temperature and humidity in the 2006-7 flu season on the onset of seasonal influenza using a case-crossover study. We targeted patients who attended one pediatric clinic in Okayama city, Japan and who were diagnosed as being infected with the seasonal influenza virus. Using 2 references (time-stratified and symmetric bidirectional design), we estimated the effects of average temperature and relative humidity from the onset day (lagO) to 10 days before (lag 10). The total number of subjects was 419, and their onset days ranged from 26 December 2006 to 30 April 2007. While the onset was significantly associated with lower temperature, relative humidity was not related. In particular, temperatures before the 3-day incubation period had higher-magnitude odds ratios. For example, the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for average temperature at time lag 8 was 1.12 (1.08-1.17) per 1.0 C decrease. Low environmental temperature significantly increased the risk of seasonal influenza onset within the 2006-7 winter season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Case-crossover study
  • Humidity
  • Seasonal influenza in humans
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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