Spatial clustering of dengue fever incidence and its association with surrounding greenness

Chi Chieh Huang, Tuen Yee Tiffany Tam, Yinq Rong Chern, Shih Chun Candice Lung, Nai Tzu Chen, Chih Da Wu

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15 Citations (Scopus)


With more than 58,000 cases reported by the country’s Centers for Disease Control, the dengue outbreaks from 2014 to 2015 seriously impacted the southern part of Taiwan. This study aims to assess the spatial autocorrelation of the dengue fever (DF) outbreak in southern Taiwan in 2014 and 2015, and to further understand the effects of green space (such as forests, farms, grass, and parks) allocation on DF. In this study, two different greenness indexes were used. The first green metric, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), was provided by the long-term NASA MODIS satellite NDVI database, which quantifies and represents the overall vegetation greenness. The latest 2013 land use survey GIS database completed by the National Land Surveying and Mapping Center was obtained to access another green metric, green land use in Taiwan. We first used Spearman’s rho to find out the relationship between DF and green space, and then three spatial autocorrelation methods, including Global Moran’s I, high/low clustering, and Hot Spot were employed to assess the spatial autocorrelation of DF outbreak. In considering the impact of social and environmental factors in DF, we used generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) to further clarify the relationship between different types of green land use and dengue cases. Results of spatial autocorrelation analysis showed a high aggregation of dengue epidemic in southern Taiwan, and the metropolitan areas were the main hotspots. Results of correlation analysis and GLMM showed a positive correlation between parks and dengue fever, and the other five green space metrics and land types revealed a negative association with DF. Our findings may be an important asset for improving surveillance and control interventions for dengue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1869
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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