The effect of weather and climate on dengue outbreak risk in Peru, 2000-2018: A time-series analysis
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The effect of weather and climate on dengue outbreak risk in Peru, 2000-2018: A time-series analysis

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  • Journal Title:
    PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    Background Dengue fever is the most common arboviral disease in humans, with an estimated 50-100 million annual infections worldwide. Dengue fever cases have increased substantially in the past four decades, driven largely by anthropogenic factors including climate change. More than half the population of Peru is at risk of dengue infection and due to its geography, Peru is also particularly sensitive to the effects of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Determining the effect of ENSO on the risk for dengue outbreaks is of particular public health relevance and may also be applicable to other Aedes-vectored viruses. Methods We conducted a time-series analysis at the level of the district-month, using surveillance data collected from January 2000 to September 2018 from all districts with a mean elevation suitable to survival of the mosquito vector (<2,500m), and ENSO and weather data from publicly-available datasets maintained by national and international agencies. We took a Bayesian hierarchical modeling approach to address correlation in space, and B-splines with four knots per year to address correlation in time. We furthermore conducted subgroup analyses by season and natural region. Results We detected a positive and significant effect of temperature (°C, RR 1.14, 95% CI 1.13, 1.15, adjusted for precipitation) and ENSO (ICEN index: RR 1.17, 95% CI 1.15, 1.20; ONI index: RR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02, 1.07) on outbreak risk, but no evidence of a strong effect for precipitation after adjustment for temperature. Both natural region and season were found to be significant effect modifiers of the ENSO-dengue effect, with the effect of ENSO being stronger in the summer and the Selva Alta and Costa regions, compared with winter and Selva Baja and Sierra regions. Conclusions Our results provide strong evidence that temperature and ENSO have significant effects on dengue outbreaks in Peru, however these results interact with region and season, and are stronger for local ENSO impacts than remote ENSO impacts. These findings support optimization of a dengue early warning system based on local weather and climate monitoring, including where and when to deploy such a system and parameterization of ENSO events, and provide high-precision effect estimates for future climate and dengue modeling efforts.
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    PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 16(6), e0010479
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    CC BY
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