Background: In the last decade, scrub typhus (ST) has been emerging or re-emerging in some areas of Asia, including Guangzhou, one of the most affected endemic areas of ST in China. Methods: Based on the data on all cases reported in Guangzhou from 2006 to 2014, we characterized the epidemiological features, and identified environmental determinants for the spatial distribution of ST using a panel negative binomial model. Results: A total of 4821 scrub typhus cases were reported in Guangzhou during 2006-2014. The annual incidence increased noticeably and the increase was relatively high and rapid in rural townships and among elderly females. The majority of cases (86.8%) occurred during May-October, and farmers constituted the majority of the cases, accounting for 33.9% in urban and 61.6% in rural areas. The number of housekeeper patients had a rapid increment in both rural and urban areas during the study period. Atmospheric pressure and relative humidity with lags of 1 or 2 months, distributions of broadleaved forest and rural township were identified as determinants for the spatiotemporal distribution of scrub typhus. Conclusion: Our results indicate that surveillance and public education need to be focused on the elderly farmers in rural areas covered with broadleaf forest in southern China.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal BMC Infectious Diseases
Sun, Y, Wei, Y.-H. (Yue-Hong), Yang, Y. (Yang), Ma, Y. (Yu), de Vlas, S.J, Yao, H.-W, … Cao, W.-C. (Wu-Chun). (2017). Rapid increase of scrub typhus incidence in Guangzhou, southern China, 2006-2014. BMC Infectious Diseases, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12879-016-2153-3