Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Zoonoses and Veterinary

Environmental variability and the transmission of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Changsha, People's Republic of China

H. XIAOa1 c1 , L. D. GAOa2 , X. J. LIa3 , X. L. LINa1, X. Y. DAIa1, P. J. ZHUa1, B. Y. CHENa2, X. X. ZHANGa4, J. ZHAOa5 and H. Y. TIANa1 c1

a1 College of Resources and Environment Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China

a2 Hunan Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Changsha, China

a3 School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan, China

a4 Changsha Municipal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Changsha, China

a5 Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China


The transmission of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is influenced by climatic, reservoir and environmental variables. The epidemiology of the disease was studied over a 6-year period in Changsha. Variables relating to climate, environment, rodent host distribution and disease occurrence were collected monthly and analysed using a time-series adjusted Poisson regression model. It was found that the density of the rodent host and multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation index had the greatest effect on the transmission of HFRS with lags of 2–6 months. However, a number of climatic and environmental factors played important roles in affecting the density and transmission potential of the rodent host population. It was concluded that the measurement of a number of these variables could be used in disease surveillance to give useful advance warning of potential disease epidemics.

(Received May 02 2012)

(Revised September 24 2012)

(Accepted October 21 2012)

(Online publication November 19 2012)

Key words

  • China;
  • environment variability;
  • cross-correlation;
  • forecast;
  • haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS);
  • time-series adjusted Poisson regression


  These authors contributed equally to this work.