›› 2015, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (5): 614-621.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1047.2015.00614

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial and Temporal Variations of Dengue Fever Epidemics in China from 2004 to 2013

NING Wenyan1,3, LU Liang1,3, REN Hongyan2, LIU Qiyong1,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Vector Biology and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Hangzhou 310003, China
  • Received:2014-06-30 Revised:2014-12-07 Online:2015-05-10 Published:2015-05-10


Dengue fever is an acute insect-borne disease transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is a class B infectious disease in China. Understanding the variations occurred in the spatial and temporal distribution of dengue fever epidemics will bring improvements to dengue fever prevention and control. In this study, monthly incidence data for dengue fever at municipality level across China were analyzed for the period from 2004 to 2013. The relationships between the incidence rates of dengue fever, the involved municipalities, and the imported cases were determined. The geographic pattern of dengue fever incidence rates was examined by GIS, spatial autocorrelation analysis and from the tracks of the centre of mass. Results showed that: (i) annually, the incidence rates for indigenous dengue fever cases exhibited the highest values between August and October, while the imported cases peaked between July and October. (ii) The logarithmic values of indigenous dengue fever cases was significantly correlated with the numbers of imported cases (r=0.669, p<0.05), while the number of municipalities with imported cases was linearly correlated to the number of all municipalities that have dengue fever cases (r=0.939, p<0.05). (iii) In addition to the increasing incidence rate, the dengue fever epidemic was affecting an increasing number of municipalities. The range of the epidemic was steadily increasing and gradually spreading toward inland area from the southeastern coast. (iv) Dengue fever cases did not distributed randomly with respect to time and geographical space. The highest density occurred in areas of Pearl River Delta, Hanjiang River Delta, Dehong prefecture, and Xishuangbanba prefecture. The centre of mass of dengue fever incidence rates was not stable and moved from the southeast coast (Fujian and Guangdong provinces) to the southwest (border of Yunnan province), which revealed the changes of the dengue fever distribution pattern. Our results indicate that the dengue fever epidemic in China is driven by imported cases from other countries. According to the temporal and spatial characteristics of the increasing incidence rates at municipality level and the expanding range of dengue fever in China, a stronger border inspection for people entering from abroad, especially from Southeast Asia and during the peak epidemic months between July and October, may be effective in preventing the spread of this rising epidemic.

Key words: spatial analysis, China, dengue fever, spatial and temporal variation