Mathematical Modelling of the Control of Dengue in Malaysia

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Dengue Fever is caused by a virus spread by mosquitoes and the disease has spread rapidly in tropical climates in recent years. In collaboration with entrepreneurs and entomologists at OneTeam Networks Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian SME, and the Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur,  and other experts in Malaysian Universities academics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Strathclyde University (Professor David Greenhalgh and Dr Yanfeng Liang), are developing a mathematical model for a new mosquito trap, which contains a chemical that attracts mosquitoes to lay their eggs in the trap where they do not develop. Moreover the proposed new mosquito trap is much more environmentally friendly than traditional Dengue control measures such as environmental fogging. Mathematical models using differential equations are being used to model the spread of disease and the effect of different numbers of traps, incorporating the effects of factors such as the annual seasonal pattern of the mosquito population. The models use data from trials of the traps in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and other sites. Results from a previous trial indicate that the new mosquito trap deployed over a 44 week period in a complex of three blocks of flats in a Dengue hotspot reduced the annual number of cases from around 53 to 14. The work is funded through the Newton Ungku-Omar Fund via the British Council Malaysia and PlatCOM ventures.

The image above show Prince Andrew presenting the award to our Malaysian collaborators.