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Assessing the social and environmental determinants of pertussis epidemics in Queensland, Australia: a Bayesian spatio-temporal analysis

  • X. HUANG (a1) (a2), S. LAMBERT (a3) (a4), C. LAU (a3) (a5), R. J. SOARES MAGALHAES (a3) (a6), J. MARQUESS (a4), M. RAJMOKAN (a4), G. MILINOVICH (a1) (a7) and W. HU (a1)...

Summary

Pertussis epidemics have displayed substantial spatial heterogeneity in countries with high socioeconomic conditions and high vaccine coverage. This study aims to investigate the relationship between pertussis risk and socio-environmental factors on the spatio-temporal variation underlying pertussis infection. We obtained daily case numbers of pertussis notifications from Queensland Health, Australia by postal area, for the period January 2006 to December 2012. A Bayesian spatio-temporal model was used to quantify the relationship between monthly pertussis incidence and socio-environmental factors. The socio-environmental factors included monthly mean minimum temperature (MIT), monthly mean vapour pressure (VAP), Queensland school calendar pattern (SCP), and socioeconomic index for area (SEIFA). An increase in pertussis incidence was observed from 2006 to 2010 and a slight decrease from 2011 to 2012. Spatial analyses showed pertussis incidence across Queensland postal area to be low and more spatially homogeneous during 2006–2008; incidence was higher and more spatially heterogeneous after 2009. The results also showed that the average decrease in monthly pertussis incidence was 3·1% [95% credible interval (CrI) 1·3–4·8] for each 1 °C increase in monthly MIT, while average increase in monthly pertussis incidences were 6·2% (95% CrI 0·4–12·4) and 2% (95% CrI 1–3) for SCP periods and for each 10-unit increase in SEIFA, respectively. This study demonstrated that pertussis transmission is significantly associated with MIT, SEIFA, and SCP. Mapping derived from this work highlights the potential for future investigation and areas for focusing future control strategies.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr W. Hu, School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. (Email: w2.hu@qut.edu.au).

References

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