Correlation analysis of air pollutant index levels and dengue cases across five different zones in Selangor, Malaysia

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Loshini Thiruchelvam
Sarat C. Dass *
Rafdzah Zaki
Abqariyah Yahya
Vijanth S. Asirvadam
(*) Corresponding Author:
Sarat C. Dass |


This study investigated the potential relationship between dengue cases and air quality – as measured by the Air Pollution Index (API) for five zones in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Dengue case patterns can be learned using prediction models based on feedback (lagged terms). However, the question whether air quality affects dengue cases is still not thoroughly investigated based on such feedback models. This work developed dengue prediction models using the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and ARIMA with an exogeneous variable (ARIMAX) time series methodologies with API as the exogeneous variable. The Box Jenkins approach based on maximum likelihood was used for analysis as it gives effective model estimates and prediction. Three stages of model comparison were carried out for each zone: first with ARIMA models without API, then ARIMAX models with API data from the API station for that zone and finally, ARIMAX models with API data from the zone and spatially neighbouring zones. Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) gives goodness-of-fit versus parsimony comparisons between all elicited models. Our study found that ARIMA models, with the lowest BIC value, outperformed the rest in all five zones. The BIC values for the zone of Kuala Selangor were –800.66, –796.22, and –790.5229, respectively, for ARIMA only, ARIMAX with single API component and ARIMAX with API components from its zone and spatially neighbouring zones. Therefore, we concluded that API levels, either temporally for each zone or spatio- temporally based on neighbouring zones, do not have a significant effect on dengue cases.

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