• 1 Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Infect Dis Model, 2021;6:997-1008.
PMID: 34466760 DOI: 10.1016/j.idm.2021.08.003


Climate change is one of the critical determinants affecting life cycles and transmission of most infectious agents, including malaria, cholera, dengue fever, hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), and the recent Corona-virus pandemic. HFMD has been associated with a growing number of outbreaks resulting in fatal complications since the late 1990s. The outbreaks may result from a combination of rapid population growth, climate change, socioeconomic changes, and other lifestyle changes. However, the modeling of climate variability and HFMD remains unclear, particularly in statistical theory development. The statistical relationship between HFMD and climate factors has been widely studied using generalized linear and additive modeling. When dealing with time-series data with clustered variables such as HFMD with clustered states, the independence principle of both modeling approaches may be violated. Thus, a Generalized Additive Mixed Model (GAMM) is used to investigate the relationship between HFMD and climate factors in Malaysia. The model is improved by using a first-order autoregressive term and treating all Malaysian states as a random effect. This method is preferred as it allows states to be modeled as random effects and accounts for time series data autocorrelation. The findings indicate that climate variables such as rainfall and wind speed affect HFMD cases in Malaysia. The risk of HFMD increased in the subsequent two weeks with rainfall below 60 mm and decreased with rainfall exceeding 60 mm. Besides, a two-week lag in wind speeds between 2 and 5 m/s reduced HFMD's chances. The results also show that HFMD cases rose in Malaysia during the inter-monsoon and southwest monsoon seasons but fell during the northeast monsoon. The study's outcomes can be used by public health officials and the general public to raise awareness, and thus, implement effective preventive measures.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.