The spatio-temporal characteristics of human infection with H7N9 in China

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    Objective To understand the spatiotemporal transmission characteristics of H7N9 infection in China. Methods Based on World Health Organization statistics on H7N9, the time-space transmission characteristics of human infection with H7N9 in China were investigated by means of time series analysis and standard deviation ellipse analysis. Results In time, from the first detection of human infection with H7N9 in 2013 to the last infection case in 2018, the entire epidemic formed five stages from October of that year to September of the following year. The number of cases increased from 134 in the first stage to 338 in the second stage, then decreased to 144 in the fourth stage, and finally an explosive 830 cases were formed in the fifth stage. There is a gap in the high incidence period at each stage; January to February is a month, and the number of cases in the outbreak month accounts for 51.74%. In space, the center of the standard deviation ellipse shifts from Huzhou near the coast to Fuzhou and Luzhou inland, and finally reaches Huanggang. The elliptical coverage area has also expanded from the more concentrated Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu provinces to cover nearly half of China''s provinces including Shandong, Henan, Sichuan, Hubei, and Guangdong. And through the spatio-temporal analysis of the three typical regions of the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the surrounding areas, the differences in epidemic situation in different regions of our country are obtained: severe areas that occur frequently in winter and spring represented by the Yangtze River Delta; More severe areas with periodic outbreaks; gentle areas with fewer cases represented by Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. These results further validate the spatiotemporal propagation characteristics of different regions. Conclusion The development of H7N9 epidemic in China has obvious periodicity and seasonality in time. The period of high incidence is from December to May each year. The epidemic in space is concentrated in the southeast coastal area.

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  • Received:November 30,2020
  • Revised:November 30,2020
  • Adopted:March 09,2021
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