Advances in using Internet searches to track dengue

by Shihao Yang, Samuel C. Kou , Fred Lu, John S. Brownstein, Nicholas Brooke, Mauricio Santillana

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that threatens over half of the world’s population. Despite being endemic to more than 100 countries, government-led efforts and tools for timely identification and tracking of new infections are still lacking in many affected areas. Multiple methodologies that leverage the use of Internet-based data sources have been proposed as a way to complement dengue surveillance efforts. Among these, dengue-related Google search trends have been shown to correlate with dengue activity. We extend a methodological framework, initially proposed and validated for flu surveillance, to produce near real-time estimates of dengue cases in five countries/states: Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. Our result shows that our modeling framework can be used to improve the tracking of dengue activity in multiple locations around the world.

4th August 2017 • comment

São João del Rei has recorded another death from dengue fever - the second in 2016 so far.

22nd August 2016 • comment

Strengthening integrated dengue surveillance, monitoring and response systems

14th June 2016 • comment

Development of real-time tracking tools to monitor dengue


Real-time dengue surveillance is critical for identifying areas where transmission is ongoing or likely to occur so that interventions can be optimized. Sophisticated new tools can help - and so can you.

7th April 2016 • comment

Secondary analysis of clinical trial data reveals dengue burden

6th April 2016 • comment

Vector control, surveillance, drugs, diagnostics and vaccines all hold exciting potential but none can solve the problem alone. We need an integrated approach.

4th April 2016 • comment

These findings suggest that the 2013 dengue epidemic in Angola was larger than indicated by passive surveillance data. Abstract During the 2013 dengue epidemic in Luanda, Angola, 811 dengue rapid diagnostic test-positive cases were reported to the Ministry of Health. To better understand the magnitude of the epidemic and identify risk factors for dengue virus (DENV) infection, we conducted cluster surveys around households of case-patients and randomly selected households 6 weeks after the peak of the epidemic. Of 173 case cluster participants, 16 (9%) exhibited evidence of recent DENV infection. Of 247 random cluster participants, 25 (10%) had evidence of recent DENV infection. Of 13 recently infected participants who had a recent febrile illness, 7 (54%) had sought medical care, and 1 (14%) was hospitalized with symptoms consistent with severe dengue; however, none received a diagnosis of dengue. Behavior associated with protection from DENV infection included recent use of mosquito repellent or a bed net. These findings suggest that the 2013 dengue epidemic was larger than indicated by passive surveillance data.

23rd July 2015 • comment