As in many parts of the world, climate variability has a strong impact on infectious diseases within the southwestern USA. Moisture and temperature conditions can either indirectly impact disease by providing an environment conducive to the growth of an animal host or reservoir, or directly through the survival and dispersal of an infectious agent. It is also expected that climate change will affect the number of cases and/or the spatial distribution of infectious diseases. Before the effects of climate change on diseases can be determined, an understanding of the basic relationship between incidence and climate variability should be established. A review of climate impacts on four infectious diseases (hantavirus, plague, dengue and coccidioidomycosis) currently found in southwestern USA (or potentially found in the southwest in the case of dengue) is followed by suggested future research to further understand the relationship between climate variability/change and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-398
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Physical Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Climate and health
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Dengue
  • Hantavirus
  • Infectious disease
  • Landscape epidemiology
  • Plague
  • Southwest USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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