Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
BARRERA, Roberto et al. Stratification of a city with hyperendemic dengue hemorrhagic fever. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2000, vol.8, n.4, pp. 225-233. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892000000900001.
Any effort to control dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) faces a number of challenges. Among these are the great environmental heterogeneity of homes and neighborhoods in urban centers where the primary dengue vector, Aedes aegypti, breeds, as well as shortages of resources and of personnel trained in mosquito control. Adequate epidemiological surveillance could serve as a basis to begin to stratify urban communities and identify the areas in them where control efforts should be focused. In this study we stratified Maracay, Venezuela, a city with hyperendemic dengue hemorrhagic fever, using a geographic information system and analyzing the persistence, incidence, and prevalence of dengue, by means of clinical diagnoses reported from 1993 through 1998. Maracay has around one million inhabitants living in some 349 neighborhoods in the six communities that make up the greater Maracay metropolitan area. During that 19931998 period the Maracay area reported 10 576 cases of dengue, 2 593 cases of DHF, and 8 deaths. The incidence of DHF was related to the incidence of dengue, the number of inhabitants in an area, and population density. The spatial pattern of dengue incidence was stable over the years that were studied, and significant, positive relationships were found between pairs of years and the incidence of dengue by neighborhood. The persistence of dengue was related directly to monthly incidence by neighborhood. These spatial patterns helped to divide the city into three strata: 68 neighborhoods without apparent dengue, 226 neighborhoods with low persistence and prevalence, and 55 neighborhoods with high persistence and prevalence. We recommend giving the highest priority for control efforts to these 55 neighborhoods, which make up just 35% of the Maracay urban area but had 70% of all the reported dengue cases.