School of Medical and Health Sciences
Objective: To probe the spatiotemporal patterns of the incidence of scarlet fever in Beijing, China, from 2005 to 2014. Methods: A spatiotemporal analysis was conducted at the district/county level in the Beijing region based on the reported cases of scarlet fever during the study period. Moran’s autocorrelation coefficient was used to examine the spatial autocorrelation of scarlet fever, whereas the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic was used to determine the hotspot incidence of scarlet fever. Likewise, the space-time scan statistic was used to detect the space-time clusters, including the relative risk of scarlet fever incidence across all settings. Results: A total of 26,860 scarlet fever cases were reported in Beijing during the study period (2005–2014). The average annual incidence of scarlet fever was 14.25 per 100,000 population (range, 6.76 to 32.03 per 100,000). The incidence among males was higher than that among females, and more than two-thirds of scarlet fever cases (83.8%) were among children 3–8 years old. The seasonal incidence peaks occurred from March to July. A higher relative risk area was mainly in the city and urban districts of Beijing. The most likely space-time clusters and secondary clusters were detected to be diversely distributed in every study year. Conclusions: The spatiotemporal patterns of scarlet fever were relatively unsteady in Beijing from 2005 to 2014. The at-risk population was mainly scattered in urban settings and dense districts with high population, indicating a positive relationship between population density and increased risk of scarlet fever exposure. Children under 15 years of age were the most susceptible to scarlet fever. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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