Volume 97, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The purpose of this study is to characterize spatiotemporal heterogeneities in malaria distribution at a provincial level and investigate the association between malaria incidence and climate factors from 2004 to 2014 in China to inform current malaria control efforts. National malaria incidence peaked (4.6/100,000) in 2006 and decreased to a very low level (0.21/100,000) in 2014, and the proportion of imported cases increased from 16.2% in 2004 to 98.2% in 2014. Statistical analyses of global and local spatial autocorrelations and purely spatial scan statistics revealed that malaria was localized in Hainan, Anhui, and Yunnan during 2004–2009 and then gradually shifted and clustered in Yunnan after 2010. Purely temporal clusters shortened to less than 5 months during 2012–2014. The two most likely clusters detected using spatiotemporal analysis occurred in Anhui between July 2005 and November 2007 and Yunnan between January 2010 and June 2012. Correlation coefficients for the association between malaria incidence and climate factors sharply decreased after 2010, and there were zero-month lag effects for climate factors during 2010–2014. Overall, the spatiotemporal distribution of malaria in China changed from relatively scattered (2004–2009) to relatively clustered (2010–2014). As the proportion of imported cases increased, the effect of climate factors on malaria incidence has gradually become weaker since 2011. Therefore, new warning systems should be applied to monitor resurgence and outbreaks of malaria in mainland China, and quarantine at borders should be reinforced to control the increasingly trend of imported malaria cases.


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Supplementary Data

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  • Received : 30 Aug 2016
  • Accepted : 08 Feb 2017

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