Weather patterns help predict dengue fever outbreaks

Oct 26, 2009

High temperatures, humidity and low wind speed are associated with high occurrence of dengue fever according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is one of the most significant insect-borne diseases found in humans, with 2.5 billion people living in high-risk areas globally. In recent years, the number of cases occurring has increased dramatically. Being able to predict the trend of facilitates early public heath responses to minimise and .

A research team led by Qiyong Liu of the State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, and China CDC, and Linwei Tian of the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging , School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong, correlated , including minimum and maximum temperature, wind velocity, humidity and rainfall with the number of cases of dengue fever in the city of Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong Province, China, over a six year period from 2001 until 2006

As dengue fever is a legally notifiable disease in China, the researchers were able to retrieve the monthly incidence of dengue fever from the Notifiable Infectious Disease Report System in the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. They correlated this with monthly weather data obtained from the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service System over the same period of time.

Higher minimum temperatures and lower wind speeds were associated with the highest number of cases of dengue fever. If the effects of humidity were factored into the mathematical model, the model fit actual events even better. The effects of minimum temperature and humidity on the incidence of dengue fever were subject to a lag of about one month, whereas the effects of wind velocity were apparent in the same month.

The authors suggest that the effects of humidity and temperature are likely to be related to mosquito survival; low humidity and cooler temperatures decrease mosquito survival. Wind speed affects mosquito flying, so high wind velocities lead to lower density of mosquitoes. But the authors point out "the transmission of dengue fever is more complex, and is influenced by community intervention measures, human behavioural influences on mosquito population and human mosquito interaction," and conclude, "future studies require studying mosquito populations."

More information: Time series analysis of dengue fever and weather in Guangzhou, China, Liang Lu, Hualiang Lin, Linwei Tian, Weizhong Yang, Jimin Sun and Qiyong Liu, BMC Public Health (in press), www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpublichealth/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Obama to announce major Ebola effort

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China alerts about dengue fever

Oct 11, 2006

China has issued an alert against dengue fever as the peak season for the mosquito-borne disease continues in the southern parts of the country.

Dengue fever strikes Taiwan

Sep 14, 2006

At least 163 people in Taiwan have come down with infectious dengue fever, adding to a growing epidemic made worse by rainy weather.

Dengue kills at least 27 in New Delhi

Oct 13, 2006

At least 27 people have died of dengue in New Delhi, as health officials continue to work to control areas where mosquitoes, which spread the disease, breed.

Study: Dengue fever is underreported

Oct 16, 2007

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is concerned about the U.S. blood supply due to underreporting of dengue fever.

Recommended for you

Obama to announce major Ebola effort

35 minutes ago

US President Barack Obama will Tuesday seek to "turn the tide" in the Ebola epidemic by ordering 3,000 US military personnel to West Africa and launching a major health care training and hygiene program.

Sierra Leone: WHO too slow to help doc with Ebola

10 hours ago

Sierra Leone accused the World Health Organization on Monday of being "sluggish" in facilitating an evacuation of a doctor who died from Ebola before she could be sent out of the country for medical care.

Dutch doctors feared to have Ebola leave hospital

10 hours ago

Two Dutch doctors flown home from west Africa after fears they might have been contaminated with the killer Ebola virus have left hospital "in good health," their employer, the Lion Heart Medical Centre, said Monday.

Strategic self-sabotage? MRSA inhibits its own growth

15 hours ago

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario have uncovered a bacterial mystery. Against all logic, the most predominant strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in North American produces an enzyme ...

User comments : 0