Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand

Derek A.T. Cummings, Rafael A. Irizarry, Norden E. Huang, Timothy P. Endy, Ananda Nisalak, Kumnuan Ungchusak, Donald S. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-347
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume427
Issue number6972
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 22 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Cummings, D. A. T., Irizarry, R. A., Huang, N. E., Endy, T. P., Nisalak, A., Ungchusak, K., & Burke, D. S. (2004). Travelling waves in the occurrence of dengue haemorrhagic fever in Thailand. Nature, 427(6972), 344-347. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02225