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      Spread pattern of the first dengue epidemic in the city of Salvador, Brazil

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          Abstract

          Background

          The explosive epidemics of dengue that have been occurring in various countries have stimulated investigation into new approaches to improve understanding of the problem and to develop new strategies for controlling the disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate the characteristics of diffusion of the first dengue epidemic that occurred in the city of Salvador in 1995.

          Methods

          The epidemiological charts and records of notified cases of dengue in Salvador in 1995 constituted the source of data. The cases of the disease were georeferenced according to census areas (spatial units) and epidemiological weeks (temporal unit). Kernel density estimation was used to identify the pattern of spatial diffusion using the R-Project computer software program.

          Results

          Of the 2,006 census areas in the city, 1,400 (70%) registered cases of dengue in 1995 and the spatial distribution of these records revealed that by the end of 1995 practically the entire city had been affected by the virus, with the largest concentration of cases occurring in the western region, composed of census areas with a high population density and predominantly horizontal residences compared to the eastern region of the city, where there is a predominance of vertical residential buildings.

          Conclusion

          The pattern found in this study shows the characteristics of the classic process of spreading by contagion that is common to most infectious diseases. It was possible to identify the epicenter of the epidemic from which centrifugal waves of the disease emanated. Our results suggest that, if a more agile control instrument existed that would be capable of rapidly reducing the vector population within a few days or of raising the group immunity of the population by means of a vaccine, it would theoretically be possible to adopt control actions around the epicenter of the epidemic and consequently reduce the incidence of the disease in the city. This finding emphasizes the need for further research to improve the technology available for the prevention of this disease.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand.

          Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus that infects 50-100 million people each year. Of these infections, 200,000-500,000 occur as the severe, life-threatening form of the disease, dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). Large, unanticipated epidemics of DHF often overwhelm health systems. An understanding of the spatial-temporal pattern of DHF incidence would aid the allocation of resources to combat these epidemics. Here we examine the spatial-temporal dynamics of DHF incidence in a data set describing 850,000 infections occurring in 72 provinces of Thailand during the period 1983 to 1997. We use the method of empirical mode decomposition to show the existence of a spatial-temporal travelling wave in the incidence of DHF. We observe this wave in a three-year periodic component of variance, which is thought to reflect host-pathogen population dynamics. The wave emanates from Bangkok, the largest city in Thailand, moving radially at a speed of 148 km per month. This finding provides an important starting point for detecting and characterizing the key processes that contribute to the spatial-temporal dynamics of DHF in Thailand.
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            Dengue y dengue hemorrágico en las Américas: guías para su prevención y control

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              Review of the factors modulating dengue transmission.

               G Kuno (1994)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                1471-2458
                2008
                7 February 2008
                : 8
                : 51
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Collective Health, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
                [2 ]Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                1471-2458-8-51
                10.1186/1471-2458-8-51
                2287177
                18257919
                Copyright © 2008 Barreto et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Public health

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