Correlation between infectious disease and soil radiation in Japan: an exploratory study using national sentinel surveillance data

Good study showing the relationship between radiation and decreased immunity.

nuclear-news

16 jan 2017.jpg

Abstract

We investigated the relationship between epidemics and soil radiation through an exploratory study using sentinel surveillance data (individuals aged <20 years) during the last three epidemic seasons of influenza and norovirus in Japan.

We used a spatial analysis method of a geographical information system (GIS). We mapped the epidemic spreading patterns from sentinel incidence rates.

We calculated the average soil radiation [dm (μGy/h)] for each sentinel site using data on uranium, thorium, and potassium oxide in the soil and examined the incidence rate in units of 0·01 μGy/h.

The correlations between the incidence rate and the average soil radiation were assessed. Epidemic clusters of influenza and norovirus infections were observed in areas with relatively high radiation exposure.

A positive correlation was detected between the average incidence rate and radiation dose, at r = 0·61–0·84 (P < 0·01) for influenza infections and r = 0·61–0·72 (P < 0·01) for norovirus…

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