Influences of heatwave, rainfall, and tree cover on cholera in Bangladesh

Jianyong Wu, Mohammad Yunus, Mohammad Ali, Veronica Escamilla, Michael Emch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cholera is a severe diarrheal disease and remains a global threat to public health. Climate change and variability have the potential to increase the distribution and magnitude of cholera outbreaks. However, the effect of heatwave on the occurrence of cholera at individual level is still unclear. It is also unknown whether the local vegetation could potentially mitigate the effects of extreme heat on cholera outbreaks. In this study, we designed a case-crossover study to examine the association between the risk of cholera and heatwaves as well as the modification effects of rainfall and tree cover. The study was conducted in Matlab, a cholera endemic area of rural Bangladesh, where cholera case data were collected between January 1983 and April 2009. The association between the risk of cholera and heatwaves was examined using conditional logistic regression models. The results showed that there was a higher risk of cholera two days after heatwaves (OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.07–2.19) during wet days (rainfall > 0 mm). For households with less medium-dense tree cover, the heatwave after a 2-day lag was positively associated (OR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.01–3.22) with the risk of cholera during wet days. However, for households with more medium-dense tree cover, the association between the risk of cholera and heatwave in 2-day lag was not significant. These findings suggest that heatwaves might promote the occurrence of cholera, while this relationship was modified by rainfall and tree cover. Further investigations are needed to explore major mechanisms underlying the association between heatwaves and cholera as well as the beneficial effects of tree cover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-311
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment international
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Case-crossover
  • Climate extreme
  • Greenspace
  • Infectious disease
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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