Researchers, led by Willem G. van Panhuis of the University of Pittsburgh, evaluated Tycho data on dengue in Brazil from 2001-2013 to estimate the number of expected dengue cases among tourists and teams in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.


Willem G. van Panhuis

Sangwon Hyun

Kayleigh Blaney

Ernesto T. A. Marques Jr.

Giovanni E. Coelho

João Bosco Siqueira Jr.

Ryan Tibshirani

Jarbas B. da Silva Jr.

and Roni Rosenfeld

Related Project Tycho Datasets

Brazil - Dengue

Brazil - Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Brazil - Dengue without warning signs


Background: This year, Brazil will host about 600,000 foreign visitors during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The concern of possible dengue transmission during this event has been raised given the high transmission rates reported in the past by this country.

Methodology/Principal Findings: We used dengue incidence rates reported by each host city during previous years (2001–2013) to estimate the risk of dengue during the World Cup for tourists and teams. Two statistical models were used: a percentile rank (PR) and an Empirical Bayes (EB) model. Expected IR's during the games were generally low (<10/100,000) but predictions varied across locations and between models. Based on current ticket allocations, the mean number of expected symptomatic dengue cases ranged from 26 (PR, 10th–100th percentile: 5–334 cases) to 59 (EB, 95% credible interval: 30–77 cases) among foreign tourists but none are expected among teams. These numbers will highly depend on actual travel schedules and dengue immunity among visitors. Sensitivity analysis for both models indicated that the expected number of cases could be as low as 4 or 5 with 100,000 visitors and as high as 38 or 70 with 800,000 visitors (PR and EB, respectively).

Conclusion/Significance: The risk of dengue among tourists during the World Cup is expected to be small due to immunity among the Brazil host population provided by last year's epidemic with the same DENV serotypes. Quantitative risk estimates by different groups and methodologies should be made routinely for mass gathering events.

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