Spatial clusters of human and livestock anthrax define high-risk areas requiring intervention in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam 1991-2022

Submitted: 26 November 2023
Accepted: 10 March 2024
Published: 15 April 2024
Abstract Views: 1195
PDF: 204
Supplementary Materials: 16
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Anthrax, a widespread zoonosis in low and middle-income countries with low disease awareness and insufficient livestock vaccination coverage, has been known in Lao Cai Province in northern Vietnam for years before its apparent absence in 2009, which requires investigation as this infection is frequently reported from neighbouring provinces and countries. We aimed to describe the seasonal patterns of anthrax (1991-2008), compare livestock anthrax vaccine coverage to disease occurrence (1991- 2022), and delineate the high-risk areas to inform local disease surveillance in the province. We illustrated the seasonal pattern of anthrax and provided a comparison between livestock vaccine coverage and disease occurrence by purely spatial SaTScan (Poisson model, 25% population at risk) to detect spatial clusters of human and livestock anthrax using population derived from zonal statistics routines. The number of cases, crude cumulative incidence, and spatial clusters of human and livestock anthrax were mapped in QGIS. Results indicate peak anthrax incidence from May to October. Buffalo, domestic cattle, and horses accounted for 75% of total animal cases. Horse anthrax was more common in Lao Cai than in its neighbours and often occurred in years with human mortality. Vaccination covered less than 30% of the livestock population. We found an apparent pattern where anthrax was controlled from 1998-2003 with higher vaccine coverage (>20%) and identified spatial clusters of human and livestock anthrax in Muong Khuong, Bao Thang, and Bac Ha districts of Lao Cai. The local public health and veterinary agencies are recommended to revisit the high-risk areas and communicate with neighbouring provinces for a regional approach to anthrax surveillance and control.



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Supporting Agencies

US Defense Threat Reduction Agency

How to Cite

Luong, T., Tran, M. H., Pham, B. U., Metrailer, M. C., Pham, V. K., Nguyen, H. L. ., Pham, T. L., Tran, T. M. H. ., Pham, Q. T., Hoang, T. T. H., & Blackburn, J. K. (2024). Spatial clusters of human and livestock anthrax define high-risk areas requiring intervention in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam 1991-2022. Geospatial Health, 19(1).