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Epidemiological Characteristics, Seasonal Dynamic Patterns, and Associations with Meteorological Factors of Rubella in Shaanxi Province, China, 2005–2018

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  • 1 Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Education Key Lab of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Air Force Medical University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China;
  • 2 Shaanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China

ABSTRACT

Rubella occurs worldwide, causing approximately 100,000 cases annually of congenital rubella syndrome, leading to severe birth defects. Better targeting of public health interventions is needed to achieve rubella elimination goals. To that end, we measured the epidemiological characteristics and seasonal dynamic patterns of rubella and determined its association with meteorological factors in Shaanxi Province, China. Data on rubella cases in Shaanxi Province from 2005 to 2018 were obtained from the Chinese National Notifiable Disease Reporting System. The Morlet wavelet analysis was used to estimate temporal periodicity of rubella incidence. Mixed generalized additive models were used to measure associations between meteorological variables (temperature and relative humidity) and rubella incidence. A total of 17,185 rubella cases were reported in Shaanxi during the study period, for an annual incidence of 3.27 cases per 100,000 population. Interannual oscillations in rubella incidence of 0.8–1.4 years, 3.8–4.8 years, and 0.5 years were detected. Both temperature and relative humidity exhibited nonlinear associations with the incidence of rubella. The accumulative relative risk of transmission for the overall pooled estimates was maximized at a temperature of 0.23°C and relative humidity of 41.6%. This study found that seasonality and meteorological factors have impact on the transmission of rubella; public health interventions to eliminate rubella must consider periodic and seasonal fluctuations as well as meteorological factors.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Shaobai Zhang, Shaanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 3 Jiandong Road, Beilin Distract, Xi’an 710054, People’s Republic of China, E-mail: maolyzhang@163.com or Zhongjun Shao, Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Education Key Lab of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Air Force Medical University, No. 169 Changle West Road, Xincheng Distract, Xi’an 710032, China, E-mail: 13759981783@163.com.

Disclosure: The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the report. The corresponding authors had full access to all of the data in this study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.

Authors’ addresses: Yu Ma, Kun Liu, Shuxuan Song, and Zhongjun Shao, Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Education Key Lab of Hazard Assessment and Control in Special Operational Environment, School of Public Health, Air Force Medical University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China, E-mails: mayu.u@163.com, liukun5959@qq.com, 897437763@qq.com, and 13759981783@163.com. Weijun Hu and Shaobai Zhang, Shaanxi Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China, E-mails: 270091746@qq.com and maolyzhang@163.com.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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