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BMC Infect Dis. 2019 Sep 2;19(1):766. doi: 10.1186/s12879-019-4400-x.

A descriptive analysis of the Spatio-temporal distribution of intestinal infectious diseases in China.

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School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710049, China.
School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710049, China.
Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 999077, China.



Intestinal infectious diseases (IIDs) have caused numerous deaths worldwide, particularly among children. In China, eight IIDs are listed as notifiable infectious diseases, including cholera, poliomyelitis, dysentery, typhoid and paratyphoid (TAP), viral Hepatitis A, viral Hepatitis E, hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) and other infectious diarrhoeal diseases (OIDDs). The aim of the study is to analyse the spatio-temporal distribution of IIDs from 2006 to 2016.


Data on the incidence of IIDs from 2006 to 2016 were collected from the public health science data centre issued by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This study applied seasonal decomposition analysis, spatial autocorrelation analysis and space-time scan analysis. Plots and maps were constructed to visualize the spatio-temporal distribution of IIDs.


Regarding temporal analysis, the incidence of HFMD and Hepatitis E showed a distinct increasing trend, while the incidence of TAP, dysentery, and Hepatitis A presented decreasing trends over the last decade. The incidence of OIID remained steady. Summer is the season with the greatest number of cases of different IIDs. Regarding the spatial distribution, approximately all p values for the global Moran's I from 2006 to 2016 were less than 0.05, indicating that the incidences of the epidemics were unevenly distributed throughout the country. The high-risk areas for HFMD and OIDD were located in the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan (BTT) region and south China. The high-risk areas for TAP were located in some parts of southwest China. A higher incidence rates for dysentery and Hepatitis A were observed in the BTT region and some west provincial units. The high-risk areas for Hepatitis E were the BTT region and the Yangtze River Delta area.


Based on our temporal and spatial analysis of IIDs, we identified the high-risk periods and clusters of regions for the diseases. HFMD and OIDD exhibited high incidence rates, which reflected the negligence of Class C diseases by the government. At the same time, the incidence rate of Hepatitis E gradually surpassed Hepatitis A. The authorities should pay more attention to Class C diseases and Hepatitis E. Regardless of the various distribution patterns of IIDs, disease-specific, location-specific, and disease-combined interventions should be established.


China; Intestinal infectious diseases; Long-term trend; Moran’s I; Seasonal trend; Spatial epidemiology

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