A global airport-based risk model for the spread of dengue infection via the air transport network.


The number of travel-acquired dengue infections has seen a consistent global rise over the past decade. An increased volume of international passenger air traffic originating from regions with endemic dengue has contributed to a rise in the number of dengue cases in both areas of endemicity and elsewhere. This paper reports results from a network-based risk assessment model which uses international passenger travel volumes, travel routes, travel distances, regional populations, and predictive species distribution models (for the two vector species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) to quantify the relative risk posed by each airport in importing passengers with travel-acquired dengue infections. Two risk attributes are evaluated: (i) the risk posed by through traffic at each stopover airport and (ii) the risk posed by incoming travelers to each destination airport. The model results prioritize optimal locations (i.e., airports) for targeted dengue surveillance. The model is easily extendible to other vector-borne diseases.

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