Spatiotemporal Epidemiology of Varicella in Chongqing, China, 2014-2018

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health





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Although immunization against varicella using vaccines has been proven to be significant and effective in the past decades, varicella remains a major public health concern for many developing countries. Varicella vaccination has not been introduced into routine immunization programs in China, and varicella outbreaks have continued to occur. Taking the city of Chongqing, which has a high prevalence of varicella, as an example, this study explored the spatiotemporal epidemiology of varicella. Based on the reported data of varicella cases from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018 in Chongqing, hot spots and space-time clusters of varicella were identified using spatial autocorrelation analysis and scan statistics. Within this period, a total of 112,273 varicella cases were reported in Chongqing (average annual incidence: 73.44 per 100,000), including one death. The incidence of varicella showed an increasing trend with significant seasonal peaks, which occurred during April to July and October to January of the following year. The total ratio of male to female patients affected was 1.10:1. Children under the age of 15 and students accounted for the majority of the patient population. The hotspots detected through local spatial autocorrelation analysis, and the most likely clusters identified by scan analysis, were primarily in the main urban districts of Chongqing. The secondary clusters were mostly detected in northeast and southwest Chongqing. There were obvious spatial dependence and spatiotemporal clustering characteristics of varicella in Chongqing from 2014 to 2018. High-risk districts, populations, and peak periods were found in this study, which could be helpful in implementing varicella prevention and control programs, and in adjusting vaccination strategies for the varicella vaccine based on actual conditions.


Varicella; Epidemiology; Spatial analysis; Spatiotemporal cluster; Chongqing


Epidemiology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health



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