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Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Human Infection with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China, 2013

November 22, 2013

Eurosurveillance, Volume 18, Issue 47, 21 November 2013

By W. Liu, K. Yang, X. Qi, K. Xu, H. Ji, J. Ai, A. Ge, Y. Wu, Y. Li, Q Dai, Q. Liang, C. Bao, R. Bergquist, F. Tang, and Y. Zhu

“Descriptive and geographic information system methods were used to depict the spatial and temporal characteristics of the outbreak of human infection with a novel avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in mainland China, the peak of which appeared between 28 March and 18 April 2013. As of 31 May 2013, there was a total of 131 reported human infections in China, with a cumulative mortality of 29% (38/131). The outbreak affected 10 provinces, with 106 of the cases being concentrated in the eastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu.


“Statistically significant spatial clustering of cumulative human cases was identified by the Cuzick–Edwards’ k-nearest neighbour method. Three spatio-temporal clusters of cases were detected by space–time scan analysis. The principal cluster covered 18 counties in Zhejiang during 3 to 18 April (relative risk (RR): 26.39;p<0.0001), while two secondary clusters in March and April covered 21 counties along the provincial boundary between Shanghai and Jiangsu (RR: 6.35;p<0.0001) and two counties in Jiangsu (RR: 72.48;p=0.0025). The peak of the outbreak was in the eastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang, Shanghai and Jiangsu that was characterised by statistically significant spatio-temporal aggregation, with a particularly high incidence in March and April 2013.”


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