Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica
versión impresa ISSN 1726-4634
RIFAKIS I, Pedro et al. Association between weather variations and dengue fever cases in a hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, 1998 - 2004. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2005, vol.22, n.3, pp. 183-190. ISSN 1726-4634.
Objectives: To prove the presence of an association between weather variations (macroclimatic and microclimatic) and dengue fever cases in Perez de Leon Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, from 1998 to 2004. Materials and methods: Monthly records of confirmed dengue fever cases from the Epidemiology Service at Perez de Leon Hospital were collected. Microclimatic data were obtained from the Meteorology Service of the Venezuelan Air Force, rain was expressed as mm per month, and maximal and minimal monthly temperatures were also recorded. NAO, SOI, AND ONI were used as climate indexes, according to NOAA classification, and seasons were categorized as positive or genitive for El Niño phenomenon (the latter were classified as neutral and La Niña). Linear regression models were used for determining the associations. Results: For the period studied, 2187 confirmed cases of dengue fever were recorded, the annual mean was 267,86 cases (±371,21). The highest case toll was in 2000 (up to 214 cases per month), and this had a climatic correlation with La Niña. Years negative for El Niño had the highest number of cases (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004) (60,26% higher than the mean number of cases) compared with the years where El Niño phenomenon occurred (1998, 2002, 2003), where there was a reduction in the case number compared with the mean values (-67,56%) (x2 = 21,76; p<0,01). Linear regression models found a statistically significant association between dengue fever and rainfall abnormalities in Caracas (r 2 = 0,01199; F= 4,635; p= 0,0319), as well with maximum temperatures recorded (r 2 = 0,1345; F= 59,37; p= 0,0001). Conclusions: These results show the positive influence of climate conditions (rainfall, temperature, and La Niña phenomenon) upon dengue fever epidemiology in Eastern Caracas, which is reflected in the admission of patients with this disease in Perez de Leon Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela.
Palabras llave : Dengue / epidemimology; Climate change; Climate effects; Environment; El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO); Venezuela (Source: DeCS BIREME).