Review Article

Epidemiological Features of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks among Chinese Preschool Children: A Meta-analysis


Background: Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is a widespread communicable disease and has caused large epidemics in many countries. This meta-analysis aimed to analyze and evaluate the epidemiological features of HFMD outbreaks in Chinese preschools.

Methods: Literature review was based on PubMed, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and Wanfang databases from 2008 to 2015. The temporal, spatial and demographic parameters were summarized and analyzed.

Results: Overall, 19 studies with a total of 11269 HFMD cases were selected for data synthesis and analysis. April, May, June and July were detected as the peak months of HFMD outbreaks, with the pooled rate of 21% (95% CI: 12%-34%), 23% (95% CI: 19%-27%), 20% (95% CI: 17%-24%) and 11% (95% CI: 7%-15%). Urban areas were at a higher risk of suffering from HFMD outbreaks than rural areas, with the pooled rate of 65% (95% CI: 48%-78%) and 35% (95% CI: 22%-52%) respectively. The constituent ratio of children aged 37-48 months is the highest, accounting for 46% (95% CI: 39%-53%) of the total cases during HFMD outbreaks. The pooled rate of male cases (60%) was higher than that of female cases (40%).

Conclusion: Month, residence, age, and gender may be early risk factors for potential HFMD outbreaks. Before the advent of peak months from Apr to Jul each year, measures should be taken to prevent the HFMD outbreaks among preschool children in China. Preschools located in urban areas should take priority over special prevention. HFMD surveillance should preferentially focus on children aged 37-48 months, especially boys in preschools.



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IssueVol 47 No 9 (2018) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Hand Foot and mouth disease Preschool Outbreak Meta-analysis Prevention

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How to Cite
WANG X-F, LU J, LIU X-X, DAI T. Epidemiological Features of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks among Chinese Preschool Children: A Meta-analysis. Iran J Public Health. 2018;47(9):1234-1243.