Volume 73, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Hurricanes can have devastating effects on health and may directly modulate vector-borne diseases. Chagas disease is a zoonosis caused by the protozoan parasite and transmitted by triatomine bugs, and the effect of hurricanes on these bugs is largely unknown. We thus performed a detailed study of the changes in geographic distribution and infection rates after Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula in September 2002. Bugs were collected in 34 villages from the entire peninsula, during a year, starting 3 months after the hurricane. Pre- and posthurricane bug collections were compared to assess changes. The most notable effect was a large increase in domestic abundance of during the 6 months after the hurricane. This increase was maximum along the path of the hurricane. These results suggest that vector control programs should be implemented along the path of hurricanes to prevent an increase in Chagas disease transmission risk in the ensuing months.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Committe on Climate, Infectious Disease and Human Health, 2001. Under the Weather: Climate, Ecosystems, and Infectious Disease. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
  2. Sanders EJ, Rigau-Perez JG, Smits HL, Deseda CC, Vorndam VA, Aye T, Spiegel RA, Weyant RS, Bragg SL, 1999. Increase of leptospirosis in dengue-negative patients after a hurricane in Puerto Rico in 1996. Am J Trop Med Hyg 61 : 399–404. [Google Scholar]
  3. Anonymous, 1999. Principales enfermedades infecciosas en Centroamérica duante 1998, antes y despés de Mitch. Rev Panam Salud Publica 6 : 440–443. [Google Scholar]
  4. Nasci RS, Moore CG, 1998. Vector-borne disease surveillance and natural disasters. Emerg Infect Dis 4 : 333–334. [Google Scholar]
  5. Campanella N, 1999. Infectious diseases and natural disasters: the effects of Hurricane Mitch over Villanueva municipal area, Nicaragua. Public Health Rev 27 : 311–319. [Google Scholar]
  6. Bissell RA, 1983. Delayed-impact infectious disease after a natural disaster. J Emerg Med 1 : 59–66. [Google Scholar]
  7. Shaman J, Stieglitz M, Stark C, Le Blancq S, Cane M, 2002. Using a dynamic hydrology model to predict mosquito abundances in flood and swamp water. Emerg Infect Dis 8 : 6–13. [Google Scholar]
  8. Ramsey JM, Ordonez R, Cruz-Celis A, Alvear AL, Chavez V, Lopez R, Pintor JR, Gama F, Carrillo S, 2000. Distribution of domestic triatominae and stratification of Chagas disease transmission in Oaxaca, Mexico. Med Vet Entomol 14 : 19–30. [Google Scholar]
  9. Zeledon R, Ugalde JA, Paniagua LA, 2001. Entomological and ecological aspects of six sylvatic species of triatomines (Hemiptera, Reduviidae) from the collection of the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, Central America. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 96 : 757–764. [Google Scholar]
  10. Galvao C, Jurberg J, Carcavallo RU, Segura CA, Galindez Giron I, Curto de Casas SI, 1998. Distribuição geográfica e dispersão alti-latitudinal de aluns gêneros e espécies da tribo Triatomini Jeannel, 1919 (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae). Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 93 : 33–37. [Google Scholar]
  11. Costa J, Peterson AT, Beard CB, 2002. Ecologic niche modeling and differentiation of populations of Triatoma brasiliensis neiva, 1911, the most important Chagas’ disease vector in northeastern Brazil (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae). Am J Trop Med Hyg 67 : 516–520. [Google Scholar]
  12. Gorla DE, 2002. Variables ambientales registradas por sensores remotos como indicadores de la distribución geográfica de Triatoma infestans. Ecología Austral 12 : 117–127. [Google Scholar]
  13. Dumonteil E, Gourbiere S, Barrera-Perez M, Rodriguez-Felix E, Ruiz-Piña H, Baños-Lopez O, Ramirez-Sierra MJ, Menu F, Rabinovich JE, 2002. Geographic distribution of Triatoma dimidiata and transmission dynamics of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. Am J Trop Med Hyg 67 : 176–183. [Google Scholar]
  14. Dumonteil E, Gourbiere S, 2004. Prediction of Triatoma dimidiata vector abundance and infection rate: a risk map for Trypanosoma cruzi natural transmission in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70 : 514–519. [Google Scholar]
  15. Güemez-Pineda M, Quintal-Aviles EF, 2003. Repercusiones del huracán “Isidoro” en la población maya-yucateca. A un año del huracán: Repercusiones del huracán Isidoro en la población yucateca. Merida, Universidad Automa de Yucatán, Yucatán, Mexico.
  16. Dorn PL, Engelke D, Rodas A, Rosales R, Melgar S, Brahney B, Flores J, Monroy C, 1999. Utility of the polymerase chain reaction in detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in Guatemalan Chagas’ disease vectors. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60 : 740–745. [Google Scholar]
  17. Levine N, 2002. CrimeStat: a spatial statistics program for the analysis of crime incident locations (v. 2.0). Houston, TX, and Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.
  18. Kulldorff M, 1997. A spatial scan statistic. Comm Stat Theory Meth 26 : 1481–1496. [Google Scholar]
  19. Williams P, 1970. Phlebotomine sandflies and leishmaniasis in British Honduras (Belize). Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 64 : 317–364. [Google Scholar]
  20. Sgambatti de Andrade AL, Zicker F, Silva IG, Souza JM, Martelli CM, 1995. Risk factors for Trypanosoma cruzi infection among children in central Brazil: a case-control study in vector control settings. Am J Trop Med Hyg 52 : 183–187. [Google Scholar]
  21. Catala S, Crocco LB, Morales GF, 1997. Trypanosoma cruzi transmission risk index (TcTRI): an entomological indicator of Chagas disease vectorial transmission to humans. Acta Trop 68 : 285–295. [Google Scholar]
  22. Rabinovich JE, Wisnivesky-Colli C, Solarz ND, Gürtler RE, 1990. Probability of transmission of Chagas’ disease by Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in an endemic area of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Bull World Health Org 68 : 737–746. [Google Scholar]
  23. Boose ER, Foster DR, Barker Plotkin A, Hall BS, 2003. Geographical and historical variation in hurricanes across the Yucatán peninsula. Gómez-Pompa A, Allen MF, Fedick SL, Jiménez-Osornio JJ, eds. The lowland Maya Area: Three Millennia at the Human-Wildland Interface. New York: The Haworth Press Inc., 495–516.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 07 Feb 2005
  • Accepted : 03 Jun 2005

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error