Spatiotemporal and socioeconomic risk factors for dengue at the province level in Vietnam, 2013–2015: Clustering analysis and regression model

Dengue is a serious infectious disease threat in Vietnam, but its spatiotemporal and socioeconomic risk factors are not currently well understood at the province level across the country and on a multiannual scale. We explore spatial trends, clusters and outliers in dengue case counts at the province level from 2011–2015 and use this to extract spatiotemporal variables for regression analysis of the association between dengue case counts and selected spatiotemporal and socioeconomic variables from 2013–2015. Dengue in Vietnam follows anticipated spatial trends, with a potential two-year cycle of high-high clusters in some southern provinces. Small but significant associations are observed between dengue case counts and mobility, population density, a province’s dengue rates the previous year, and average dengue rates two years previous in first and second order contiguous neighbours. Significant associations were not found between dengue case counts and housing pressure, access to electricity, clinician density, province-adjusted poverty rate, percentage of children below one vaccinated, or percentage of population in urban settings. These findings challenge assumptions about socioeconomic and spatiotemporal risk factors for dengue, and support national prevention targeting in Vietnam at the province level. They may also be of wider relevance for the study of other arboviruses, including Japanese encephalitis, Zika, and Chikungunya.