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Seasonal Distribution and Climatic Correlates of Dengue Disease in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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  • Section on Membrane and Cellular Biophysics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland; Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Child Health Research Foundation, Department of Microbiology, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Department of Microbiology, Popular Diagnostic Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh; International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh; Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

Dengue has been regularly reported in Dhaka, Bangladesh, since a large outbreak in 2000. However, to date, we have limited information on the seasonal distribution of dengue disease and how case distribution correlates with climate. Here, we analyzed dengue cases detected at a private diagnostic facility in Dhaka during 2010–2014. We calculated Pearson cross-correlation coefficients to examine the relationship between the timing of cases and both rainfall and temperature. There were 2,334 cases diagnosed during the study period with 76% over the age of 15 years. Cases were reported in every month of the study; however, 90% of cases occurred between June and November. Increases in rainfall were correlated with increases in cases 2 months later (correlation of 0.7). The large proportion of adult cases is consistent with substantial population susceptibility and suggests Dhaka remains at risk for outbreaks. Although cases occurred year-round, public health preparedness should be focused during peak months.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Emily S. Gurley, Programme for Emerging Infections, icddr,b, 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh. E-mail: egurley@icddrb.org

Financial support: This research study was funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, under the cooperative agreement (grant no. 1U01GH001207-01).

Authors' addresses: Ivonne Morales, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, and Section on Membrane and Cellular Biophysics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD, E-mail: imorale1@jhu.edu. Henrik Salje, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, and Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, E-mail: hsalje1@jhu.edu. Samir Saha, Child Health Research Foundation, Department of Microbiology, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Department of Microbiology, Popular Diagnostic Center, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: samir.sks@gmail.com. Emily S. Gurley, Programme on Emerging Infections, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: egurley@icddrb.org.

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