Background: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is now endemic in most tropical countries. In Thailand, dengue fever/dengue hemorrhagic fever is a leading cause of hospitalization and death among children. A longitudinal study among 1750 people in two rural and one urban sites in northern Thailand from 2001 to 2003 studied spatial and temporal determinants for recent dengue infection at three levels (time, individual and household). Methods: Determinants for dengue infection were measured by questionnaire, land-cover maps and GIS. IgM antibodies against dengue were detected by ELISA. Three-level multi-level analysis was used to study the risk determinants of recent dengue infection. Results: Rates of recent dengue infection varied substantially in time from 4 to 30%, peaking in 2002. Determinants for recent dengue infection differed per site. Spatial clustering was observed, demonstrating variation in local infection patterns. Most of the variation in recent dengue infection was explained at the time-period level. Location of a person and the environment around the house (including irrigated fields and orchards) were important determinants for recent dengue infection. Conclusion: We showed the focal nature of asymptomatic dengue infections. The great variation of determinants for recent dengue infection in space and time should be taken into account when designing local dengue control programs.,
International Journal of Health Geographics
Department of Virology

Vanwambeke, S., van Bethem, B., Khantikul, N., Burghoorn-Maas, C., Panart, K., Oskam, L., … Somboon, P. (2006). Multi-level analyses of spatial and temporal determinants for dengue infection. International Journal of Health Geographics, 5. doi:10.1186/1476-072X-5-5