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Climatic Factors Influencing the Anthrax Outbreak of 2016 in Siberia, Russia

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  • Ekaterina Ezhova, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Dmitry Orlov, Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • ,
  • Elli Suhonen, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Dmitry Kaverin, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Alexander Mahura, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Victor Gennadinik, Tyumen State University
  • ,
  • Ilmo Kukkonen, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Dmitry Drozdov, Tyumen State University, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian State Geological Prospecting University
  • ,
  • Hanna K. Lappalainen, University of Helsinki, Tyumen State University
  • ,
  • Vladimir Melnikov, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tyumen State University, Industrial University of Tyumen
  • ,
  • Tuukka Petaja, University of Helsinki, Tyumen State University
  • ,
  • Veli-Matti Kerminen, University of Helsinki
  • ,
  • Sergey Zilitinkevich, University of Helsinki, Tyumen State University, Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • ,
  • Svetlana M. Malkhazova, Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • ,
  • Torben R. Christensen
  • Markku Kulmala, University of Helsinki, Tyumen State University

In 2016, an outbreak of anthrax killing thousands of reindeer and affecting dozens of humans occurred on the Yamal peninsula, Northwest Siberia, after 70 years of epidemiological situation without outbreaks. The trigger of the outbreak has been ascribed to the activation of spores due to permafrost thaw that was accelerated during the summer heat wave. The focus of our study is on the dynamics of local environmental factors in connection with the observed anthrax revival. We show that permafrost was thawing rapidly for already 6 years before the outbreak. During 2011-2016, relatively warm years were followed by cold years with a thick snow cover, preventing freezing of the soil. Furthermore, the spread of anthrax was likely intensified by an extremely dry summer of 2016. Concurrent with the long-term decreasing trend in the regional annual precipitation, the rainfall in July 2016 was less than 10% of its 30-year mean value. We conclude that epidemiological situation of anthrax in the previously contaminated Arctic regions requires monitoring of climatic factors such as warming and precipitation extremes.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEcoHealth
Vol/bind18
Nummer2
Sider (fra-til)217-228
Antal sider12
ISSN1612-9202
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2021

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