Spatial and temporal patterns of dengue incidence in northeastern Thailand 2006-2016

Thipruethai Phanitchat, Bingxin Zhao, Ubydul Haque, Chamsai Pientong, Tipaya Ekalaksananan, Sirinart Aromseree, Kesorn Thaewnongiew, Benedicte Fustec, Michael J. Bangs, Neal Alexander, Hans J. Overgaard

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46 Scopus citations


Background: Dengue, a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, is an important public health concern throughout Thailand. Climate variables are potential predictors of dengue transmission. Associations between climate variables and dengue have usually been performed on large-scale first-level national administrative divisions, i.e. provinces. Here we analyze data on a finer spatial resolution in one province, which is often more relevant for effective disease control design. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of seasonal variations, monthly climate variability, and to identify local clusters of symptomatic disease at the sub-district level based on reported dengue cases. Methods: Data on dengue cases were retrieved from the national communicable disease surveillance system in Thailand. Between 2006 and 2016, 15,167 cases were recorded in 199 sub-districts of Khon Kaen Province, northeastern Thailand. Descriptive analyses included demographic characteristics and temporal patterns of disease and climate variables. The association between monthly disease incidence and climate variations was analyzed at the sub-district level using Bayesian Poisson spatial regression. A hotspot analysis was used to assess the spatial patterns (clustered/dispersed/random) of dengue incidence. Results: Dengue was predominant in the 5-14 year-old age group (51.1%). However, over time, dengue incidence in the older age groups (> 15 years) gradually increased and was the most affected group in 2013. Dengue outbreaks coincide with the rainy season. In the spatial regression model, maximum temperature was associated with higher incidence. The hotspot analysis showed clustering of cases around the urbanized area of Khon Kaen city and in rural areas in the southwestern portion of the province. Conclusions: There was an increase in the number of reported dengue cases in older age groups over the study period. Dengue incidence was highly seasonal and positively associated with maximum ambient temperature. However, climatic variables did not explain all the spatial variation of dengue in the province. Further analyses are needed to clarify the detailed effects of urbanization and other potential environmental risk factors. These results provide useful information for ongoing prediction modeling and developing of dengue early warning systems to guide vector control operations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number743
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2019


  • Climate
  • Dengue
  • Rainfall
  • Seasonal
  • Temperature
  • Thailand


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