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Geographical structures and the cholera epidemic in modern Japan: Fukushima prefecture in 1882 and 1895.

Kuo CL, Fukui H - Int J Health Geogr (2007)

Bottom Line: The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted.Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Geographic Information Science, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. jinlin@ntu.edu.tw

ABSTRACT

Background: Disease diffusion patterns can provide clues for understanding geographical change. Fukushima, a rural prefecture in northeast Japan, was chosen for a case study of the late nineteenth century cholera epidemic that occurred in that country. Two volumes of Cholera Ryu-ko Kiji (Cholera Epidemic Report), published by the prefectural government in 1882 and 1895, provide valuable records for analyzing and modelling diffusion. Text descriptions and numerical evidence culled from the reports were incorporated into a temporal-spatial study framework using geographic information system (GIS) and geo-statistical techniques.

Results: Changes in diffusion patterns between 1882 and 1895 reflect improvements in the Fukushima transportation system and growth in social-economic networks. The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted. Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.

Conclusion: In addition to enhancing our understanding of epidemics, the spatial-temporal patterns of cholera diffusion offer opportunities for studying regional change in modern Japan. By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Graphs for comparing 1882 and 1895 epidemic waves.
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Figure 2: Graphs for comparing 1882 and 1895 epidemic waves.

Mentions: Statistical data for the two outbreaks are summarized in Table 1. As shown, the 1895 epidemic started one month earlier than the 1882 epidemic, but end dates, mortality rates, and peak weeks are comparable. Figure 2 presents data on weekly cholera cases recorded during each outbreak. In 1882 the number of cases increased dramatically from week 1 to a peak of 160 cases in week 8; the number then steadily declined from week 9 to week 14. In 1895 the number of cases increased very slowly during the first six weeks, dramatically increased from week 7 to a peak in week 9, then slowly declined to its end in week 20. The major differences noted in the two data sets likely reflect structural changes enacted between the two outbreaks.


Geographical structures and the cholera epidemic in modern Japan: Fukushima prefecture in 1882 and 1895.

Kuo CL, Fukui H - Int J Health Geogr (2007)

Graphs for comparing 1882 and 1895 epidemic waves.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1941729&req=5

Figure 2: Graphs for comparing 1882 and 1895 epidemic waves.
Mentions: Statistical data for the two outbreaks are summarized in Table 1. As shown, the 1895 epidemic started one month earlier than the 1882 epidemic, but end dates, mortality rates, and peak weeks are comparable. Figure 2 presents data on weekly cholera cases recorded during each outbreak. In 1882 the number of cases increased dramatically from week 1 to a peak of 160 cases in week 8; the number then steadily declined from week 9 to week 14. In 1895 the number of cases increased very slowly during the first six weeks, dramatically increased from week 7 to a peak in week 9, then slowly declined to its end in week 20. The major differences noted in the two data sets likely reflect structural changes enacted between the two outbreaks.

Bottom Line: The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted.Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Geographic Information Science, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. jinlin@ntu.edu.tw

ABSTRACT

Background: Disease diffusion patterns can provide clues for understanding geographical change. Fukushima, a rural prefecture in northeast Japan, was chosen for a case study of the late nineteenth century cholera epidemic that occurred in that country. Two volumes of Cholera Ryu-ko Kiji (Cholera Epidemic Report), published by the prefectural government in 1882 and 1895, provide valuable records for analyzing and modelling diffusion. Text descriptions and numerical evidence culled from the reports were incorporated into a temporal-spatial study framework using geographic information system (GIS) and geo-statistical techniques.

Results: Changes in diffusion patterns between 1882 and 1895 reflect improvements in the Fukushima transportation system and growth in social-economic networks. The data reveal different diffusion systems in separate regions in which residents of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures interacted. Our model also shows that an area in the prefecture's northern interior was dominated by a mix of diffusion processes (contagious and hierarchical), that the southern coastal region was affected by a contagious process, and that other infected areas experienced relocation diffusion.

Conclusion: In addition to enhancing our understanding of epidemics, the spatial-temporal patterns of cholera diffusion offer opportunities for studying regional change in modern Japan. By highlighting the dynamics of regional reorganization, our findings can be used to better understand the formation of an urban hierarchy in late nineteenth century Japan.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus