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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 460-466

Dengue outbreaks in Taiwan, 1998-2017: Importation, serotype and temporal pattern


Department of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung Taiwan 40402

Correspondence Address:
Ying-Hen Hsieh
Department of Public Health, China Medical University Taichung, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung, Taiwan, 40402

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.240081

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Objective: To ascertain the role of imported cases and serotypes on dengue outbreaks in Taiwan which have been sporadic yet highly volatile during the past two decades, exhibiting record-breaking magnitude in recent years. Methods: Confirmed case and serotype data from Taiwan Centers for Disease Control during 1998-2017 were fully examined, with fitting of weekly and daily case data of each city/county to a mathematical model to pinpoint the waves of cases and their locations. Moreover, we quantify the timing of turning point and transmission potential of each wave and determine its circulating serotype, to ascertain any pattern or connection between the variations in circulating serotypes and the magnitude/transmissibility of outbreak. Results: While the number of imported case increased steadily during past two decades, the yearly number of indigenous cases fluctuated wildly. Moreover, while yearly percentages of serotypes for imported cases remains steady, that of indigenous cases does not exhibit any clear pattern. There was at least one wave of reported cases somewhere in Taiwan every year from 1998 to 2015, except in 2016-2017. The effective reproduction number R for all waves in all locations ranged from 1.14 to 2.87, with the exception of two Tainan waves, in 2010 (3.95) and 2015 (6.84). Four major outbreaks of over 2000 cases reveal circulation of one dominant serotype. Conclusions: Correlation between imported cases and indigenous outbreak prove to be difficult to ascertain, even with the availability of serotype data. However, although there had been occasional co-circulation of serotypes in one location, and for some years with different serotypes circulating in different locations, all major outbreaks of over 2 000 cases during the past two decades are due to circulation of mainly a single serotype, perhaps indicating greater transmission potential with one dominating serotype.


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