International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, May 18, 2019

Thomas C. McHale, Claudia M. Romero-Vivas, Claudio Fronterre, Pedro Arango-Padilla, Naomi R. Waterlow, Chad D. Nix, Andrew K. Falconar, Jorge Cano


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) have recently emerged as globally important infections. This study aimed to explore the spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the occurrence of CHIKV and ZIKV outbreaks throughout the major international seaport city of Barranquilla, Colombia in 2014 and 2016 and the potential for clustering. Incidence data were fitted using multiple Bayesian Poisson models based on multiple explanatory variables as potential risk factors identified from other studies and options for random effects. A best fit model was used to analyse their case incidence risks and identify any risk factors during their epidemics. Neighbourhoods in the northern region were hotspots for both CHIKV and ZIKV outbreaks. Additional hotspots occurred in the southwestern and some eastern/southeastern areas during their outbreaks containing part of, or immediately adjacent to, the major circular city road with its import/export cargo warehouses and harbour area. Multivariate conditional autoregressive models strongly identified higher socioeconomic strata and living in a neighbourhood near a major road as risk factors for ZIKV case incidences. These findings will help to appropriately focus vector control efforts but also challenge the belief that these infections are driven by social vulnerability and merit further study both in Barranquilla and throughout the world’s tropical and subtropical regions.

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