Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Scaling Dynamics of Human Diseases and Urbanization in Colombia

Version 1 : Received: 27 October 2020 / Approved: 29 October 2020 / Online: 29 October 2020 (14:03:44 CET)

How to cite: Feged-Rivadeneira, A.; Andrade, F.; González-Casabianca, F.; Escobedo, F. Scaling Dynamics of Human Diseases and Urbanization in Colombia. Preprints 2020, 2020100615 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0615.v1). Feged-Rivadeneira, A.; Andrade, F.; González-Casabianca, F.; Escobedo, F. Scaling Dynamics of Human Diseases and Urbanization in Colombia. Preprints 2020, 2020100615 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0615.v1).

Abstract

Colombia has one of the largest numbers of internally displaced populations in the world and recently entered a period of post-conflict. These socio-political processes and trends have increased the migration of people towards cities and accordingly are affecting the distribution and occurrence of tropical diseases in its urban and peri-urban areas. Studies have suggested that many human phenomena such as urbanization scale according to the size of human populations regardless of cultural context. But other studies show that health epidemics such as malarial and human immunodeficiency virus infections, follow a scale-free distribution in terms of population size and density. We explore these relationships and dynamics in a tropical context using statistical analyses and available geospatial data to identify the scale dynamics between urbanization processes and disease transmission in Colombia. We found that rural populations and certain disease dynamics were described by power-laws that are frequently mentioned in urbanization studies. However, we found that malaria presented higher intensity of infection in human settlements of less than 50,000 individuals, particularly for ethnic indigenous populations. Results indicate that epidemics and urbanization dynamics do indeed follow scales in Colombia; findings that differ from previous epidemiological studies such as those for malarial infection. Additionally, we identified trends showing that malarial infections become endemic in peri-urban areas. Targeting such peri-urban locations and certain demographic groups are key for managing public health issues in the urbanizing tropics.

Subject Areas

Spatial Analyses; Epidemiology; Power laws; Tropical cities

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