Seasonal influenza remains epidemic globally with a substantial health burden. Understanding the transmission patterns and epidemic features of influenza may facilitate the improvement of preventive and control measures. This study aims to assess the epidemic features of influenza among different climate zones and identify high-risk zones across Gansu province, China.
We collected weekly influenza cases at county-level between 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2016, as well as climate zones classification shapefile data from Köppen-Geiger climate map. We compared the epidemic features (Frequency index (α), Duration index (β) and Intensity index (γ)) of influenza among different climate zones. Spatial cluster analysis was used to examine the high-risk areas of transmission of influenza.
The distribution of cases existed significant differences among eight climate zones (F-test: 267.02, p < 0.05). The highest mean weekly incidence rate (per 100,000 population) was 0.59 in snow climate with dry winter and warm summer (Dwb). The primary (relative risk (RR): 3.61, p < 0.001) and secondary (RR: 2.45, p < 0.001) clusters were located in Dwb. The highest values of α, β and γ were 1.00, 261 and 154.38 in Dwb. The hot spots (high-high clusters) of the epidemic indices were detected in Dwb.
This study found the variability of epidemic features of influenza among eight climate zones. We highlight that Dwb was the high-risk zone where influenza clustered with the highest incidence rate and epidemic temporal indices. This provide further insight into potential improvement of preventive measures by climate zones to minimize the impact of epidemics.

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