Study can predict dengue outbreaks

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With the rise of dengue cases especially among children, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has recently developed a pioneering statistical model that readily predicts the threat of dengue outbreaks in public elementary and high schools in the Philippines.

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The “School-based Mosquito Abundance Model (SMAM)” of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) offers a predictive model based on actual data estimating the mosquito density in schools without having to do active vector surveillance.

The SMAM project is one of the parallel sessions that will be presented when the PCHRD celebrates its 34th Anniversary on March 17, 2016 at the New World Makati Hotel in Makati City.

Lilian A. de las Llagas of the College of Public Health, UP Manila and Lisa Grace S. Bersales of the UP School of Statistics will present the model that specifically forecasts the trends of the ovitrap index (OI), an effective mosquito surveillance tool.

“We are offering this model as a science-based contribution to the dengue control efforts.

The results will be an important prediction for dengue cases and eventually for outbreak prevention,” said De las Llagas, an authority in the science of vector control and practice.

With the model, she said the risk of dengue transmission can be predicted and the benefits could be computed.

Bersales, the National Statistician of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), said the climate-driven model will greatly assist in the prediction of mosquito density in schools.

Schools were the chosen target sites for the study since cases of dengue fever are common among elementary and high school students.

The study includes data collected from July 2015 to February 2016, and will continue up to the second quarter of 2016 to complete a 12-month data for prediction.

Those interested to know areas of dengue vulnerability due to high mosquito count can simply click the DOST website to be launched at the end of the project.

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