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BACKGROUND: Dengue infection ranges from asymptomatic to severe and life-threatening, with no specific treatment available. Vector control is crucial for interrupting its transmission cycle. Accurate estimation of outbreak timing and location is essential for efficient resource allocation. Timely and reliable notification systems are necessary to monitor dengue incidence, including spatial and temporal distributions, to detect outbreaks promptly and implement effective control measures. METHODS: We proposed an integrated two-step methodology for real-time spatiotemporal cluster detection, accounting for reporting delays. In the first step, we employed space-time nowcasting modeling to compensate for lags in the reporting system. Subsequently, anomaly detection methods were applied to assess adverse risks. To illustrate the effectiveness of these detection methods, we conducted a case study using weekly dengue surveillance data from Thailand. RESULTS: The developed methodology demonstrated robust surveillance effectiveness. By combining space-time nowcasting modeling and anomaly detection, we achieved enhanced detection capabilities, accounting for reporting delays and identifying clusters of elevated risk in real-time. The case study in Thailand showcased the practical application of our methodology, enabling timely initiation of disease control activities. CONCLUSION: Our integrated two-step methodology provides a valuable approach for real-time spatiotemporal cluster detection in dengue surveillance. By addressing reporting delays and incorporating anomaly detection, it complements existing surveillance systems and forecasting efforts. Implementing this methodology can facilitate the timely initiation of disease control activities, contributing to more effective prevention and control strategies for dengue in Thailand and potentially other regions facing similar challenges.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC Med Res Methodol

Publication Date





Bayesian, Cluster detection, Delay, Dengue, Spatiotemporal, Humans, Dengue, Thailand, Disease Outbreaks, Incidence, Forecasting