Cluster analysis of typhoid cases in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Typhoid fever is still a major public health problem globally as well as in Malaysia. This study was done to identify the spatial epidemiology of typhoid fever in the Kota Bharu District of Malaysia as a first step to developing more advanced analysis of the whole country. The main characteristic of the epidemiological pattern that interested us was whether typhoid cases occurred in clusters or whether they were evenly distributed throughout the area. We also wanted to know at what spatial distances they were clustered. All confirmed typhoid cases that were reported to the Kota Bharu District Health Department from the year 2001 to June of 2005 were taken as the samples. From the home address of the cases, the location of the house was traced and a coordinate was taken using handheld GPS devices. Spatial statistical analysis was done to determine the distribution of typhoid cases, whether clustered, random or dispersed. The spatial statistical analysis was done using CrimeStat III software to determine whether typhoid cases occur in clusters, and later on to determine at what distances it clustered. From 736 cases involved in the study there was significant clustering for cases occurring in the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005. There was no significant clustering in year 2004. Typhoid clustering also occurred strongly for distances up to 6 km. This study shows that typhoid cases occur in clusters, and this method could be applicable to describe spatial epidemiology for a specific area. (Med J Indones 2008; 17: 175-82)
Keywords: typhoid, clustering, spatial epidemiology, GIS
Copyright (c) 2008 Nazarudin Safian, Shamsul A. Shah, Shaharudin Idrus, Wan M. Hamzah
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