Laiwu District is recognized as a hyper-endemic region for scrub typhus in Shandong Province, but the seriousness of this problem has been neglected in public health circles.
A disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) approach was adopted to measure the burden of scrub typhus in Laiwu, China during the period 2006 to 2012. A multiple seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average model (SARIMA) was used to identify the most suitable forecasting model for scrub typhus in Laiwu. Results showed that the disease burden of scrub typhus is increasing yearly in Laiwu, and which is higher in females than males. For both females and males, DALY rates were highest for the 60–69 age group. Of all the SARIMA models tested, the SARIMA(2,1,0)(0,1,0)12 model was the best fit for scrub typhus cases in Laiwu. Human infections occurred mainly in autumn with peaks in October.
Females, especially those of 60 to 69 years of age, were at highest risk of developing scrub typhus in Laiwu, China. The SARIMA (2,1,0)(0,1,0)12 model was the best fit forecasting model for scrub typhus in Laiwu, China. These data are useful for developing public health education and intervention programs to reduce disease.
Scrub typhus, also known as tsutsugamushi disease, is a zoonosis transmitted by chigger bites (larval trombiculid mites) and the pathogen Orientia tsutsugamushi (O. tsutsugamushi), a Gram-negative obligate intracellular bacterium. It is distributed widely in the Pacific regions of Asia, and the islands of the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. People with outdoor activities that involve contact with grasses or shrubs are at highest risk. Scrub typhus has existed in Southern China for thousands of years, but it has been noted to spread from the South to the North of China in recent decades. Though this research we studied the disease burden of scrub typhus with disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and developed a forecasting time series model for human clinical disease in Laiwu, China. Results demonstrated that the disease burden of scrub typhus was increasing year by year in Laiwu, and it was higher in females than males. Moreover, DALY rates in females and males were highest for persons in the 60–69 years age group. Of all the seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) models tested, the SARIMA(2,1,0)(0,1,0)12 model was the best fit for scrub typhus cases in Laiwu. The disease occurred mainly in autumn, with a peak in October.