Ling Zhang1, Sheng Li2, Bo Wang1, Ce Liu1, Li He1, Xiaobing Shan1, Kai Zhang3, Bin Luo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,4,5 

1 Institute of Occupational Health and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
2 The First People's Hospital of Lanzhou, Lanzhou, Gansu 730050, China
3 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA
4 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Meteorology and Health, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Shanghai 200030, China
5 Shanghai Typhoon Institute, China Meteorological Administration, Shanghai 200030, China

Received: July 25, 2022
Revised: October 5, 2022
Accepted: October 14, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Zhang, L., Li, S., Wang, B., Liu, C., He, L., Shan, X., Zhang, K., Luo, B. (2022). Effects of Dust Event Days on Influenza: Evidence from Arid Environments in Lanzhou. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 220282.


  • New evidence on the association between dust events and influenza from China.
  • Ambient PM and dust events exposure may increase the risk of influenza.
  • Longer-duration dust events have a greater risk on laboratory-confirmed influenza.


Airborne aerosol is believed to be an important pathway for infectious disease transmissions like COVID-19 and influenza. However, the effects of dust event days on influenza have been rarely explored, particularly in arid environments. This study explores the effects of ambient particulate matter (PM) and dust events on laboratory-confirmed influenza in a semi-arid city. A descriptive analysis of daily laboratory-confirmed influenza (influenza) cases, PM (PM10 and PM2.5), meteorological parameters, and dust events were conducted from 2014 to 2019 in Lanzhou, China. The case-crossover design combined with conditional Poisson regression models was used to estimate the lagging effects of PM and dust events on influenza. In addition, a hierarchical model was used to quantitatively evaluate the interactive effect of PM with ambient temperature and absolute humidity on influenza. We found that PM and dust events had a significant effect on influenza. The effects of PM10 and PM2.5 on influenza became stronger as the cumulative lag days increased. The greatest estimated relative risks (RRs) were 1.018 (1.011,1.024) and 1.061 (1.034,1.087), respectively. Compared with the non-dust days, the effects of dust events with duration ≥ 1 day and with duration ≥ 2 days on influenza were the strongest at lag0 day, with the estimated RRs of 1.245 (95% CI: 1.061–1.463) and 1.483 (95% CI: 1.232–1.784), respectively. Subgroup analysis showed that pre-school children and school-aged children were more sensitive to PM and dust events exposure. Besides, we also found that low humidity and temperature had an interaction with PM to aggravate the risk of influenza. In summary, ambient PM and dust events exposure may increase the risk of influenza, and the risk of influenza increases with the dust events duration. Therefore, more efforts from the government as well as individuals should be strengthened to reduce the effect of PM on influenza, particularly in cold and dry weather.

Keywords: Particulate matter, Dust events, Influenza, Case-crossover study

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