Spatial and temporal clusters of Barmah Forest virus disease in Queensland, Australia

Naish, Suchithra, Hu, Wenbiao, Mengersen, Kerrie, & Tong, Shilu (2011) Spatial and temporal clusters of Barmah Forest virus disease in Queensland, Australia. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 16(7), pp. 884-893.

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To identify the spatial and temporal clusters of Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease in Queensland in Australia, using geographical information systems (GIS) and spatial scan statistic (SaTScan).


We obtained BFV disease cases, population and statistical local areas boundary data from Queensland Health and Australian Bureau of Statistics respectively during 1992-2008 for Queensland. A retrospective Poisson-based analysis using SaTScan software and method was conducted in order to identify both purely spatial and space-time BFV disease high-rate clusters. A spatial cluster size of a proportion of the population and a 200km circle radius and varying time windows from 1 month to 12 months were chosen (for the space-time analysis).


The spatial scan statistic detected a most likely significant purely spatial cluster (including 23 SLAs) and a most likely significant space-time cluster (including 24 SLAs) in approximately the same location. Significant secondary clusters were also identified from both the analyses in several locations.


This study provides evidence of the existence of statistically significant BFV disease clusters in Queensland, Australia. The study also demonstrated the relevance and applicability of SaTScan in analysing on-going surveillance data to identify clusters to facilitate the development of effective BFV disease prevention and control strategies in Queensland, Australia.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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8 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 52136
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Barmah Forest virus, clusters, spatial scan statistic
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02775.x
ISSN: 1360-2276
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2012 06:27
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2015 03:34

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