Dr. Alexander Kirpich, together with Dr. Michael H. Norris, Dr. Thomas A. Weppelman, Dr. Michael von Fricken, and Dr. Kirpich's students, conducted a study that aimed to investigate the seasonal relationships between meteorological factors, water quality, and sporadic cases of Legionnaires' disease in Washington, DC. Recognizing the challenges associated with studying large geographic areas due to the sporadic nature of the cases and data aggregation complexities, the researchers opted to focus on the discrete municipality of Washington, DC for a retrospective ecological study spanning from 2001 to 2019.
Washington, DC was chosen for this research for several reasons. Firstly, the area is located in the Northeastern Mid-Atlantic region, which had experienced previous outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease. This historical context made it a relevant and informative location for studying the disease dynamics. Moreover, Washington, DC exhibits geographic homogeneity and falls within the same climatic region, characterized by a specific humid subtropical climate. This feature facilitated the collection and utilization of precise meteorological data in the study.
Another crucial factor in selecting Washington, DC was its reliance on a single source of municipal water derived from the Potomac River. This characteristic ensured a consistent and controlled water supply, which was essential for the research. Furthermore, the region has maintained detailed records of water quality, encompassing both surface water and water processed by treatment plants. These comprehensive records played a pivotal role in providing valuable insights and data for the study.
By narrowing down the research scope to the discrete municipality of Washington, DC, the researchers aimed to address the challenges associated with studying larger geographic areas. This approach allowed for a more focused and comprehensive investigation into the seasonal relationships between meteorological factors, water quality, and sporadic cases of Legionnaires' disease within a specific and well-documented location.
The manuscript reference is provided below, and it is freely accessible online, enabling the public to access its content at no cost.
Kirpich A, Shishkin A, Lhewa P, Yang C, von Fricken ME, Norris MH, Weppelmann TA. An investigation of the seasonal relationships between meteorological factors, water quality, and sporadic cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Washington, DC. Epidemiology & Infection. 2023 Jan;151:e88. PMID: 37183701 PMCID: PMC10265736 DOI: 10.1017/S0950268823000651