Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 79-86

Exploration of population ecological factors related to the spatial heterogeneity of dengue fever cases diagnosed through a national network of laboratories in India, 2017

1 VRDLN Data Management Group, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Division of Epidemiology & Communicate Diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
3 ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Vasna Joshua
Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Epidemiology, Second Main Road, Tamil Nadu Housing Board, Ayapakkam, Near Ambattur, Chennai 600 077, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1096_18

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Background & objectives: Dengue virus (DENV) transmission is known to be influenced by the environmental conditions. During 2017, the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) tested 78,744 suspected dengue fever (DF) patients, of whom, 21,260 were laboratory confirmed. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the hypothesis that spatial heterogeneity existed for DF patients and to identify significant determinants of DENV transmission in various districts across the Indian States during 2017. Methods: Laboratory confirmed DF cases were analysed from 402 districts spread across the Indian States. The determinants for DF transmission included in the model were population density, proportion of population living in rural areas, proportion o f forest cover area to the total geographical area, proportion of persons not able to read and write and who were aged greater than seven years; the climatic variables considered were minimum, maximum and average temperature, precipitation and cumulative rainfall. The spatial heterogeneity was assessed using spatial regression analysis. Results: DF cases showed strong spatial dependency, with Moran's I=4.44 (P <0.001). The robust measure for spatial lag (6.55; P=0.01) was found to be the best model fit for the data set. Minimum temperature and cumulative rainfall were significant predictors. Interpretation & conclusions: A significant increase in the number of dengue cases has occurred when the minimum temperature was 23.0-25.8°C and the cumulative rainfall 118.14-611.64 mm across the Indian districts. Further in-depth investigations incorporating more number of demographic, ecological and socio-economic factors would be needed for robust conclusions.

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