Forecasting HFMD cases using weather variables and Google search queries in Sabah, Malaysia

Jayaraj, Vivek Jason and Hoe Abdullah, Victor Chee Wai (2022) Forecasting HFMD cases using weather variables and Google search queries in Sabah, Malaysia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (24). ISSN 1660-4601, DOI

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HFMD is a viral-mediated infectious illness of increasing public health importance. This study aimed to develop a forecasting tool utilizing climatic predictors and internet search queries for informing preventive strategies in Sabah, Malaysia. HFMD case data from the Sabah State Health Department, climatic predictors from the Malaysia Meteorological Department, and Google search trends from the Google trends platform between the years 2010-2018 were utilized. Cross-correlations were estimated in building a seasonal auto-regressive moving average (SARIMA) model with external regressors, directed by measuring the model fit. The selected variables were then validated using test data utilizing validation metrics such as the mean average percentage error (MAPE). Google search trends evinced moderate positive correlations to the HFMD cases (r(0-6weeks): 0.47-0.56), with temperature revealing weaker positive correlations (r(0-3weeks): 0.17-0.22), with the association being most intense at 0-1 weeks. The SARIMA model, with regressors of mean temperature at lag 0 and Google search trends at lag 1, was the best-performing model. It provided the most stable predictions across the four-week period and produced the most accurate predictions two weeks in advance (RMSE = 18.77, MAPE = 0.242). Trajectorial forecasting oscillations of the model are stable up to four weeks in advance, with accuracy being the highest two weeks prior, suggesting its possible usefulness in outbreak preparedness.

Item Type: Article
Funders: None
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coxsackie; EV71; Prediction model; Meteorology; Google trends; ARIMA
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Social & Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2023 03:47
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2023 03:47

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