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Modelling Dengue Fever (DF) and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) Outbreak Using Poisson and Negative Binomial Model

Authors: W. Y. Wan Fairos, W. H. Wan Azaki, L. Mohamad Alias, Y. Bee Wah


Dengue fever has become a major concern for health authorities all over the world particularly in the tropical countries. These countries, in particular are experiencing the most worrying outbreak of dengue fever (DF) and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). The DF and DHF epidemics, thus, have become the main causes of hospital admissions and deaths in Malaysia. This paper, therefore, attempts to examine the environmental factors that may influence the recent dengue outbreak. The aim of this study is twofold, firstly is to establish a statistical model to describe the relationship between the number of dengue cases and a range of explanatory variables and secondly, to identify the lag operator for explanatory variables which affect the dengue incidence the most. The explanatory variables involved include the level of cloud cover, percentage of relative humidity, amount of rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature and wind speed. The Poisson and Negative Binomial regression analyses were used in this study. The results of the analyses on the 915 observations (daily data taken from July 2006 to Dec 2008), reveal that the climatic factors comprising of daily temperature and wind speed were found to significantly influence the incidence of dengue fever after 2 and 3 weeks of their occurrences. The effect of humidity, on the other hand, appears to be significant only after 2 weeks.

Keywords: dengue fever, negative binomial regression model, poisson regression model, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

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