Spatio-temporal cluster detection of chickenpox in Valencia, Spain in the period 2008-2012

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Adina Iftimi *
Francisco Martínez-Ruiz
Ana Míguez Santiyán
Francisco Montes
(*) Corresponding Author:
Adina Iftimi | adina.iftimi@uv.es

Abstract

Chickenpox is a highly contagious airborne disease caused by Varicella zoster, which affects nearly all non-immune children worldwide with an annual incidence estimated at 80-90 million cases. To analyze the spatiotemporal pattern of the chickenpox incidence in the city of Valencia, Spain two complementary statistical approaches were used. First, we evaluated the existence of clusters and spatio-temporal interaction; secondly, we used this information to find the locations of the spatio-temporal clusters via the space-time permutation model. The first method used detects any aggregation in our data but does not provide the spatial and temporal information. The second method gives the locations, areas and time-frame for the spatio-temporal clusters. An overall decreasing time trend, a pronounced 12-monthly periodicity and two complementary periods were observed. Several areas with high incidence, surrounding the center of the city were identified. The existence of aggregation in time and space was observed, and a number of spatio-temporal clusters were located.

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