This study aimed to compare the short-term temperature-dengue associations during different dengue outbreak periods, estimate the dengue cases attributable to temperature, and ascertain if there was an association between heatwaves and dengue outbreaks in Hanoi, Vietnam. Many studies have shown associations between rising temperatures, El Niño events and dengue incidence, but the effect of sustained periods of extreme high temperatures (i.e., heatwaves) on dengue outbreaks has not yet been investigated.
After considering the delayed effects of temperature (one week lag), the authors estimated that 4.6%, 11.6%, and 21.9% of incident cases during small, medium, and large outbreaks were attributable to temperature. We found evidence of an association between heatwaves and dengue outbreaks, with longer delayed effects on large outbreaks (around 14 weeks later) than small and medium outbreaks (4 to 9 weeks later). Compared with non-heatwave years, dengue outbreaks (i.e., small, moderate and large outbreaks combined) in heatwave years had higher weekly number of dengue cases (p<0.05). Findings were robust under different sensitivity analyses.