Does Bangkok have a central role in the dengue dynamics of Thailand?

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Abstract

Background: Bangkok plays a central role in the commerce of Thailand. This study aimed to characterize the district-level spatial-temporal patterns of dengue in Thailand and explore if a dengue peak in Bangkok led the peaks of dengue in other Thai provinces. Methods: Monthly dengue data at district level in Thailand from January 2004 to December 2017 were obtained and used to assess the spatial and seasonal patterns of dengue in Thailand. As our seasonal decomposition and cross-correlation analyses showed that dengue in Bangkok peaked in November, which was a few months after the dengue peak in most other provinces, we used a time-series generalized linear model to explore if there was another province in which the dengue case number was most predictive of dengue case numbers in other Thai provinces. Results: The highest district-level annual dengue incidence rates (per 10,000) in the three time periods (i.e. 2004-2008, 2009-2013 and 2014-2017) were 58.08 (Samphanthawong), 85.93 (Mueang Krabi), and 66.60 (Mae Sariang), respectively. Dengue incidence rates in the western part of Northern Thailand, southern part of Central Thailand, southern part of Eastern Thailand, and Southern Thailand were higher than in other regions. Dengue in most districts of Thailand peaked in June, July or August, but dengue peaks in all districts of Bangkok occurred in November. The number of dengue cases in Nakhon Ratchasima was most predictive of the number of dengue cases in other provinces in Thailand by a one-month lag. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the dengue peak in Bangkok did not lead the peaks of dengue in other Thai provinces. Future research exploring how changes in socio-ecological factors (e.g. road network and climate factors) in Nakhon Ratchasima have affected the transmission of dengue in Thailand might shed some new light on the prevention and control of dengue.

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Xu, Z., Bambrick, H., Pongsumpun, P., Ming Tang, I., Yakob, L., Devine, G., … Hu, W. (2020). Does Bangkok have a central role in the dengue dynamics of Thailand? Parasites and Vectors, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-3892-y

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