Impact of human mobility on the emergence of dengue epidemics in Pakistan

Amy Wesolowski, Taimur Qureshi, Maciej F. Boni, Pål Roe Sundsøy, Michael A. Johansson, Syed Basit Rasheed, Kenth Engø-Monsen, Caroline O. Buckee, Burton H. Singer

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Abstract

The recent emergence of dengue viruses into new susceptible human populations throughout Asia and the Middle East, driven in part by human travel on both local and global scales, represents a significant global health risk, particularly in areas with changing climatic suitability for the mosquito vector. In Pakistan, dengue has been endemic for decades in the southern port city of Karachi, but large epidemics in the northeast have emerged only since 2011. Pakistan is therefore representative of many countries on the verge of countrywide endemic dengue transmission, where prevention, surveillance, and preparedness are key priorities in previously dengue-free regions. We analyze spatially explicit dengue case data from a large outbreak in Pakistan in 2013 and compare the dynamics of the epidemic to an epidemiological model of dengue virus transmission based on climate and mobility data from ∼40 million mobile phone subscribers. We find that mobile phone-based mobility estimates predict the geographic spread and timing of epidemics in both recently epidemic and emerging locations. We combine transmission suitability maps with estimates of seasonal dengue virus importation to generate fine-scale dynamic risk maps with direct application to dengue containment and epidemic preparedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11887-11892
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2015

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Dengue
Pakistan
Dengue Virus
Cell Phones
Middle East
Climate
Disease Outbreaks
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Wesolowski, Amy ; Qureshi, Taimur ; Boni, Maciej F. ; Sundsøy, Pål Roe ; Johansson, Michael A. ; Rasheed, Syed Basit ; Engø-Monsen, Kenth ; Buckee, Caroline O. ; Singer, Burton H. / Impact of human mobility on the emergence of dengue epidemics in Pakistan. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 ; Vol. 112, No. 38. pp. 11887-11892.
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Wesolowski, A, Qureshi, T, Boni, MF, Sundsøy, PR, Johansson, MA, Rasheed, SB, Engø-Monsen, K, Buckee, CO & Singer, BH 2015, 'Impact of human mobility on the emergence of dengue epidemics in Pakistan', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 38, pp. 11887-11892. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1504964112

Impact of human mobility on the emergence of dengue epidemics in Pakistan. / Wesolowski, Amy; Qureshi, Taimur; Boni, Maciej F.; Sundsøy, Pål Roe; Johansson, Michael A.; Rasheed, Syed Basit; Engø-Monsen, Kenth; Buckee, Caroline O.; Singer, Burton H.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 112, No. 38, 22.09.2015, p. 11887-11892.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Impact of human mobility on the emergence of dengue epidemics in Pakistan

AU - Wesolowski, Amy

AU - Qureshi, Taimur

AU - Boni, Maciej F.

AU - Sundsøy, Pål Roe

AU - Johansson, Michael A.

AU - Rasheed, Syed Basit

AU - Engø-Monsen, Kenth

AU - Buckee, Caroline O.

AU - Singer, Burton H.

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AB - The recent emergence of dengue viruses into new susceptible human populations throughout Asia and the Middle East, driven in part by human travel on both local and global scales, represents a significant global health risk, particularly in areas with changing climatic suitability for the mosquito vector. In Pakistan, dengue has been endemic for decades in the southern port city of Karachi, but large epidemics in the northeast have emerged only since 2011. Pakistan is therefore representative of many countries on the verge of countrywide endemic dengue transmission, where prevention, surveillance, and preparedness are key priorities in previously dengue-free regions. We analyze spatially explicit dengue case data from a large outbreak in Pakistan in 2013 and compare the dynamics of the epidemic to an epidemiological model of dengue virus transmission based on climate and mobility data from ∼40 million mobile phone subscribers. We find that mobile phone-based mobility estimates predict the geographic spread and timing of epidemics in both recently epidemic and emerging locations. We combine transmission suitability maps with estimates of seasonal dengue virus importation to generate fine-scale dynamic risk maps with direct application to dengue containment and epidemic preparedness.

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