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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Ecological factors associated with dengue fever in a central highlands Province, Vietnam

Hau V Pham12*, Huong TM Doan1, Thao TT Phan12 and Nguyen N Tran Minh2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of Tay Nguyen, Dak Lak, Vietnam

2 Vietnam Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP), Hanoi, Vietnam

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:172  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-172

Published: 16 June 2011



Dengue is a leading cause of severe illness and hospitalization in Vietnam. This study sought to elucidate the linkage between climate factors, mosquito indices and dengue incidence.


Monthly data on dengue cases and mosquito larval indices were ascertained between 2004 and 2008 in the Dak Lak province (Vietnam). Temperature, sunshine, rainfall and humidity were also recorded as monthly averages. The association between these ecological factors and dengue was assessed by the Poisson regression model with adjustment for seasonality.


During the study period, 3,502 cases of dengue fever were reported. Approximately 72% of cases were reported from July to October. After adjusting for seasonality, the incidence of dengue fever was significantly associated with the following factors: higher household index (risk ratio [RR]: 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.62-1.70 per 5% increase), higher container index (RR: 1.78; 95% CI: 1.73-1.83 per 5% increase), and higher Breteau index (RR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.53-1.60 per 5 unit increase). The risk of dengue was also associated with elevated temperature (RR: 1.39; 95% CI: 1.25-1.55 per 2°C increase), higher humidity (RR: 1.59; 95% CI: 1.51-1.67 per 5% increase), and higher rainfall (RR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.21-1.74 per 50 mm increase). The risk of dengue was inversely associated with duration of sunshine, the number of dengue cases being lower as the sunshine increases (RR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.73-0.79 per 50 hours increase).


These data suggest that indices of mosquito and climate factors are main determinants of dengue fever in Vietnam. This finding suggests that the global climate change will likely increase the burden of dengue fever infection in Vietnam, and that intensified surveillance and control of mosquito during high temperature and rainfall seasons may be an important strategy for containing the burden of dengue fever.