[Objectives]: The study mainly aims to depict the epidemiological characteristics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Xinjiang, China and to evaluate the effects of meteorological factors on the incidence of HFMD and the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of HFMD in Xinjiang under the influence of meteorological factors.
[Methods]: With the data from the national surveillance data of HFMD and meteorological parameters in the study area from 2008 to 2016. We first employed GeoDetector Model to examine the effects of meteorological factors on HFMD incidence in Xinjiang, China and to test the spatial-temporal heterogeneity of HFMD risk, and then the spatial autocorrelation was applied to examine the temporal-spatial pattern of HFMD.
[Results]: From 2008 to 2016, the HFMD distribution showed a distinct seasonal pattern and HFMD cases typically occurred between May and July, peaking in June, in Xinjiang. The relative humidity, precipitation, air pressure and temperature had more influence than other risk factors on HFMD incidence with explanatory powers of 0.30, 0.29, 0.29 and 0.21(p<0.000), respectively. The interactive effect of any two risk factors would enhance the risk of HFMD and there was a nonlinear enhancement between any two risk factors interactive effect. The spatial relative risks in Northern Xinjiang were higher than in Southern Xinjiang. Global spatial autocorrelation analysis showed a fluctuating trend over the years, the spatial dependency on the incidence of HFMD in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015, the negative spatial autocorrelation in 2009 and a random distribution pattern in 2011, 2013 and 2016.
[Conclusion]: Our findings show that the risk of HFMD in Xinjiang showed signiﬁcant spatiotemporal heterogeneity. The monthly average relative humidity, monthly average precipitation, monthly average air pressure and monthly average temperature factors might have stronger relationships on the HFMD incidence in Xinjiang, China, compared with other factors. The differences in climate and latitude between Southern and Northern Xinjiang and their arid and semi-arid geographical environment are part of the reasons why the distribution of HFMD in Xinjiang is different from other temperate continental climatic zones. These associations draw attention to climate-related health issues and will help in establishing accurate spatiotemporal prevention of HFMD in Xinjiang, China.