Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (3): 152-160.doi: 10.24920/J1001-9294.2017.036

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Time Series Models for Short Term Prediction of the Incidence of Japanese Encephalitis in Xianyang City, P R China

Zhang Rong-qiang1, 2, Li Feng-ying3, Liu Jun-li3, Liu Mei-ning3, Luo Wen-rui3, Ma Ting3, Ma Bo3, Zhang Zhi-gang1, *   

  1. 1School of Public Health, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, Shaanxi 712046, China
    2Institute of Endemic Diseases, School of Public Health, Health Science Center, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Key Laboratory of Trace Elements and Endemic Diseases of National Health and Family Planning Commission, Xi’an 710061, China;
    3Department of Immunology, Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Xianyang City, Xianyang, Shaanxi 712046, China
  • Received:2016-12-21 Published:2017-09-27 Online:2017-09-27
  • Contact: Zhang Zhi-gang


To construct a model of Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) for forecasting the epidemic of Japanese encephalitis (JE) in Xianyang, Shaanxi, China, and provide valuable reference information for JE control and prevention.


Theoretically epidemiologic study was employed in the research process. Monthly incidence data on JE for the period from Jan 2005 to Sep 2014 were obtained from a passive surveillance system at the Center for Diseases Prevention and Control in Xianyang, Shaanxi province. An optimal SARIMA model was developed for JE incidence from 2005 to 2013 with the Box and Jenkins approach. This SARIMA model could predict JE incidence for the year 2014 and 2015.


SARIMA (1, 1, 1) (2, 1, 1)12 was considered to be the best model with the lowest Bayesian information criterion, Akaike information criterion, Mean Absolute Error values, the highest R2, and a lower Mean Absolute Percent Error. SARIMA (1, 1, 1) (2, 1, 1)12 was stationary and accurate for predicting JE incidence in Xianyang. The predicted incidence, around 0.3/100 000 from June to August in 2014 with low errors, was higher compared with the actual incidence. Therefore, SARIMA (1, 1, 1) (2, 1, 1)12 appeared to be reliable and accurate and could be applied to incidence prediction.


The proposed prediction model could provide clues to early identification of the JE incidence that is increased abnormally (≥0.4/100 000). According to the predicted results in 2014, the JE incidence in Xianyang will decline slightly and reach its peak from June to August.

Key words: Japanese encephalitis, time series models, incidence, prediction

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