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The impact of rainfall and temperature on the spatial progression of cases during the chikungunya re-emergence in Thailand in 2008-2009.

Abstract

These results suggest that climatic variation contributed to the slower rate of incidence observed in March 2009. Overall, a gradient in transmission probability and mortality and fertility rates of mosquito is observed over the entire area with the most southern districts experiencing the most efficient transmission.

To determine the effect of climate on CHIKV transmission, we evaluated models where climate affects the transmission rate from mosquitoes to humans; extrinsic incubation period; fertility rate of mosquitoes; and the mortality rate of mosquito larvae. We compared these models to models that did not include climate effects.

In 2008, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) re-emerged in Thailand after more than a decade of absence. Cases first appeared in the extreme southern region of the country and advanced northward approx. 300 km over the next 18 months. The spatial advance of CHIKV cases appeared to occur at two rates, initially progressing slowly and then increasing in speed. We hypothesize that climatic variation affected the transmission of CHIKV in the country.

The inclusion of climate data greatly improved model fit with models assuming climate affected the fertility rate of mosquitoes providing the best fit to data.

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