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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


RODRIGUEZ-VELASQUEZ, Javier O. et al. Dynamics of the malaria epidemic in Colombia: temporal probabilistic prediction. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.1, pp.52-59. ISSN 0124-0064.


To predict the dynamics of the malaria epidemic of 2007 in Colombia.

Materials and Methods

Based on a random walk, the geometric dynamics of the number of annual cases of malaria registered in Colombia during the period 1960-2006 was studied by analyzing the probabilistic behavior of consecutive increases and decreases, as well as the probabilistic behavior of cases during consecutive year ranges, in order to make a temporary prediction of the cases.


A simple and acausal methodology that predicts the extreme values for the number of infected people in 2007 was developed; the prediction was refined by the analysis of the annual variations, obtaining a value of 104098 corresponding to the number of infected population in 2007. This prediction was corroborated later against the information of Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia (National Institute of Health), finding a 95.6 % correspondence with the number of reported cases.


Understanding the acausal phenomenon based on a probabilistic random walk allows making temporal, simple and practical predictions that are directly verifiable and applicable, economizing time and sources.

Keywords : Probability; Plasmodium falciparum; epidemics; malaria; forecasting (source: MeSH, NLM).

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