GUANGZHOU, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have developed an early warning system to predict the risk of dengue fever infections in southern China's Guangdong Province, authorities said Tuesday.
The system uses real-time information such as seasonal climate forecasts, infection distribution and mosquito density to produce risk estimates up to two months in advance, according to Ma Wenjun, head of the institute of public health under the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ma said results from the model would be used to direct disease prevention and control strategies.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease that mainly affects people in tropical and subtropical regions, causing fever, nausea, as well as aching muscles and joints.
Guangdong remains a major dengue epidemic area in China. It will enter peak season for dengue between June and October.
"The dengue epidemic is related to many factors including climate, rainfall, El Nino, local population density, sanitation and human migration," said Ma, adding that the earlier the prevention and control measures were taken, the more effective the results would be.
Currently, the system has been installed at county-level disease control centers in Guangdong to control and contain potentially explosive dengue epidemics.