The urban spread of visceral leishmaniasis: Clues from spatial analysis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Epidemiology, 2002, 13 (3), pp. 364 - 367
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Background. The pattern of spread of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazilian cities is poorly understood. Methods. We used geographic information systems and spatial statistics to evaluate the distribution of 1061 cases of visceral leishmaniasis in Teresina, Brazil, in 1993 through 1996. Results. A locally weighted (LOESS) regression model, which was fit as a smoothed function of spatial coordinates, demonstrated large-scale variation, with high incidence rates in peripheral neighborhoods that bordered forest land and pastures. Moran's I indicated small-scale variation and clustering up to 300 m, roughly the flight range of the sand fly vector. Conclusions. Spatial analytical techniques can identify high-risk areas for targeting control interventions.
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