Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
RODRIGUEZ, Javier and CORREA, Catalina. Temporal prediction of the dengue epidemic in Colombia: the epidemic's probabilistic dynamics. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.3, pp. 443-453. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642009000300013.
Objective Studying geometric dynamics for annual cases of dengue recorded in Colombia from 19902006 by making an analogy with a probabilistic random walk. Methods The geometric dynamics for the number of annual cases of dengue registered in Colombia for 1990-2006 was mathematically analyzed as a probabilistic random walk, building the total probability space for the dynamics in order to analyze the probabilistic behavior of consecutive increases and decreases and the probabilistic behavior of cases during ranges of serial years and thus calculate the temporary prediction of annual cases. Results The extreme values predicted for the number of infected people during 2007 were 57 581 and 20 008; the predicted value was refined by analysing annual variations, giving a 48 188 predicted value for the number of infected people in 2007. This prediction was then corroborated by using Colombian National Institute of Health data having a 43 564 recorded real infected value on December 31st; the real value corresponded to 90,4 % regarding predicted value. Conclusion A mathematical and acausal order for the dengue epidemic in Colombia was found from the probabilistic random walk; thus led to carrying out temporary, simple and useful predictions in the public health decision-making.
Keywords : Probability; forecasting; Dengue.