Spatial Methods for Inferring Extremes in Dengue Outbreak Risk in Singapore

Viruses. 2022 Nov 4;14(11):2450. doi: 10.3390/v14112450.


Dengue is a major vector-borne disease worldwide. Here, we examined the spatial distribution of extreme weekly dengue outbreak risk in Singapore from 2007 to 2020. We divided Singapore into equal-sized hexagons with a circumradius of 165 m and obtained the weekly number of dengue cases and the surface characteristics of each hexagon. We accounted for spatial heterogeneity using max-stable processes. The 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-year return levels, or the weekly dengue case counts expected to be exceeded once every 5, 10, 20, and 30 years, respectively, were determined for each hexagon conditional on their surface characteristics remaining constant over time. The return levels were higher in the country's east, with the maximum weekly dengue cases per hexagon expected to exceed 51 at least once in 30 years in many areas. The surface characteristics with the largest impact on outbreak risk were the age of public apartments and the percentage of impervious surfaces, where a 3-year and 10% increase in each characteristic resulted in a 3.8% and 3.3% increase in risk, respectively. Vector control efforts should be prioritized in older residential estates and places with large contiguous masses of built-up environments. Our findings indicate the likely scale of outbreaks in the long term.

Keywords: dengue; extreme value theory; max-stable model; transmission risk.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dengue* / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Singapore / epidemiology

Grant support

This research received no external funding.