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In Frontiers in public health

Hepatitis E has placed a heavy burden on China, especially in Jiangsu Province, so accurately predicting the incidence of hepatitis E benefits to alleviate the medical burden. In this paper, we propose a new attentive bidirectional long short-term memory network (denoted as BiLSTM-Attention) to predict the incidence of hepatitis E for all 13 cities in Jiangsu Province, China. Besides, we also explore the performance of adding meteorological factors and the Baidu (the most widely used Chinese search engine) index as additional training data for the prediction of our BiLSTM-Attention model. SARIMAX, GBDT, LSTM, BiLSTM, and BiLSTM-Attention models are tested in this study, based on the monthly incidence rates of hepatitis E, meteorological factors, and the Baidu index collected from 2011 to 2019 for the 13 cities in Jiangsu province, China. From January 2011 to December 2019, a total of 29,339 cases of hepatitis E were detected in all cities in Jiangsu Province, and the average monthly incidence rate for each city is 0.359 per 100,000 persons. Root mean square error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE) are used for model selection and performance evaluation. The BiLSTM-Attention model considering meteorological factors and the Baidu index has the best performance for hepatitis E prediction in all cities, and it gets at least 10% improvement in RMSE and MAE for all 13 cities in Jiangsu province, which means the model has significantly improved the learning ability, generalizability, and prediction accuracy when comparing with others.

Wu Tianxing, Wang Minghao, Cheng Xiaoqing, Liu Wendong, Zhu Shutong, Zhang Xuefeng


Baidu index, BiLSTM, attention, hepatitis E, machine learning, meteorological factors