Identifying socio-ecological drivers of common cold in Bhutan: a national surveillance data analysis

Tsheten Tsheten, Kinley Penjor, Chachu Tshering, Archie C A Clements, Darren J Gray, Kinley Wangdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The common cold is a leading cause of morbidity and contributes significantly to the health costs in Bhutan. The study utilized multivariate Zero-inflated Poisson regression in a Bayesian framework to identify climatic variability and spatial and temporal patterns of the common cold in Bhutan. There were 2,480,509 notifications of common cold between 2010 and 2018. Children aged < 15 years were twice (95% credible interval [CrI] 2.2, 2.5) as likely to get common cold than adults, and males were 12.4% (95 CrI 5.5%, 18.7%) less likely to get common cold than females. A 10 mm increase in rainfall lagged one month, and each 1 °C increase of maximum temperature was associated with a 5.1% (95% CrI 4.2%, 6.1%) and 2.6% (95% CrI 2.3%, 2.8%) increase in the risk of cold respectively. An increase in elevation of 100 m and 1% increase in relative humidity lagged three months were associated with a decrease in risk of common cold by 0.1% (95% CrI 0.1%, 0.2%) and 0.3% (95% CrI 0.2%, 0.3%) respectively. Seasonality and spatial heterogeneity can partly be explained by the association of common cold to climatic variables. There was statistically significant residual clustering after accounting for covariates. The finding highlights the influence of climatic variables on common cold and suggests that prioritizing control strategies for acute respiratory infection program to subdistricts and times of the year when climatic variables are associated with common cold may be an effective strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11716
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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