Changes in Rodent Abundance and Weather Conditions Potentially Drive Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome Outbreaks in Xi’an, China, 2005–2012

Huai Yu Tian, Peng Bo Yu, Angela D. Luis, Peng Bi, Bernard Cazelles, Marko Laine, Shan Qian Huang, Chao Feng Ma, Sen Zhou, Jing Wei, Shen Li, Xiao Ling Lu, Jian Hui Qu, Jian Hua Dong, Shi Lu Tong, Jing Jun Wang, Bryan Grenfell, Bing Xu

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Abstract

Increased risks for hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) caused by Hantaan virus have been observed since 2005, in Xi’an, China. Despite increased vigilance and preparedness, HFRS outbreaks in 2010, 2011, and 2012 were larger than ever, with a total of 3,938 confirmed HFRS cases and 88 deaths in 2010 and 2011. Data on HFRS cases and weather were collected monthly from 2005 to 2012, along with active rodent monitoring. Wavelet analyses were performed to assess the temporal relationship between HFRS incidence, rodent density and climatic factors over the study period. Results showed that HFRS cases correlated to rodent density, rainfall, and temperature with 2, 3 and 4-month lags, respectively. Using a Bayesian time-series Poisson adjusted model, we fitted the HFRS outbreaks among humans for risk assessment in Xi’an. The best models included seasonality, autocorrelation, rodent density 2 months previously, and rainfall 2 to 3 months previously. Our models well reflected the epidemic characteristics by one step ahead prediction, out-of-sample. In addition to a strong seasonal pattern, HFRS incidence was correlated with rodent density and rainfall, indicating that they potentially drive the HFRS outbreaks. Future work should aim to determine the mechanism underlying the seasonal pattern and autocorrelation. However, this model can be useful in risk management to provide early warning of potential outbreaks of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0003530
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 30 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Tian, H. Y., Yu, P. B., Luis, A. D., Bi, P., Cazelles, B., Laine, M., Huang, S. Q., Ma, C. F., Zhou, S., Wei, J., Li, S., Lu, X. L., Qu, J. H., Dong, J. H., Tong, S. L., Wang, J. J., Grenfell, B., & Xu, B. (2015). Changes in Rodent Abundance and Weather Conditions Potentially Drive Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome Outbreaks in Xi’an, China, 2005–2012. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 9(3), [e0003530]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003530