Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease of global impact. In Venezuela, dengue has emerged as one of the most important public health problems of urban areas with frequent epidemics since 2001. The long-term pattern of this disease has involved not only a general upward trend in cases but also a dramatic increase in the size and frequency of epidemic outbreaks. By assuming that climate variability has a relevant influence on these changes in time, we quantified the periodicity of dengue incidence in time-series of data from two northern regions of Venezuela. Disease cycles of 1 and 3-4 years (p < 0.05) were detected. We determined that dengue cycles corresponded with local climate and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variation at both seasonal and inter-annual scales (every 2-3 years). Dengue incidence peaks were more prevalent during the warmer and dryer years of El Niño confirming that ENSO is a regional climatic driver of such long-term periodicity through local changes in temperature and rainfall. Our findings support the evidence of the effect of climate on dengue dynamics and advocate the incorporation of climate information in the surveillance and prediction of this arboviral disease in Venezuela.
- MOLECULAR EPIDEMIOLOGY
- WAVELET ANALYSIS