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Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand

Cummings, DAT and Irizarry, RA and Huang, NE and Endy, TP and Nisalak, A and Ungchusak, K and Burke, DS (2004) Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand. Nature, 427 (6972). 344 - 347. ISSN 0028-0836

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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 hemorrhagic 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 148km 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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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cummings, DAT
Irizarry, RA
Huang, NE
Endy, TP
Nisalak, A
Ungchusak, K
Burke, DSdonburke@pitt.eduDONBURKE
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Vaccine Research
Date: 22 January 2004
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Volume: 427
Number: 6972
Page Range: 344 - 347
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1038/nature02225
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0028-0836
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 14:42
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 16:57


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