Asynchronicity of endemic and emerging mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in the Dominican Republic.
Petrone ME., Earnest R., Lourenço J., Kraemer MUG., Paulino-Ramirez R., Grubaugh ND., Tapia L.
Mosquito-borne viruses threaten the Caribbean due to the region's tropical climate and seasonal reception of international tourists. Outbreaks of chikungunya and Zika have demonstrated the rapidity with which these viruses can spread. Concurrently, dengue fever cases have climbed over the past decade. Sustainable disease control measures are urgently needed to quell virus transmission and prevent future outbreaks. Here, to improve upon current control methods, we analyze temporal and spatial patterns of chikungunya, Zika, and dengue outbreaks reported in the Dominican Republic between 2012 and 2018. The viruses that cause these outbreaks are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which are sensitive to seasonal climatological variability. We evaluate whether climate and the spatio-temporal dynamics of dengue outbreaks could explain patterns of emerging disease outbreaks. We find that emerging disease outbreaks were robust to the climatological and spatio-temporal constraints defining seasonal dengue outbreak dynamics, indicating that constant surveillance is required to prevent future health crises.