OBJECTIVETo identify the epidemic characteristics and risk factors of an emerging infectious disease-severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in Hubei province.METHODSActive surveillance program on SFTS was set up in monitoring sites-hospitals, at the township level or above, in Suizhou, Huanggang and Wuhan from January to December, 2010. Specific surveillance program on SFTS was launched across the province in hospitals above the county level. Cases that matched the definition of surveillance case were identified and reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs). Cases were interviewed and their blood samples collected and detected using PCR and virus isolation. We also conducted serum antibody surveys among healthy population and livestock and surveillance on vector ticks in those high-epidemic areas.RESULTS188 cases that matched the definition of surveillance case and 21 deaths were reported in 11 cities, 32 countries and 100 towns in 2010, with an incidence rate of 0.33/10(6). The fatality rate was 11.2%. Data showed that the patients were from hilly areas at the altitude elevated between 28-940 meters. The epidemic period was between April and December with the peak from May to September. The youngest case was an 11-year old, while the eldest was 81 with median age as 56-year old. 95.3% of the patients were farmers. All Patients did not have the history of traveling, two weeks before the onset of SFTS. 93.6% of the patients engaged in different kind of work which was associated with agriculture. 52.8% of the patients had been exposed to ticks. 22.0% of the patients had been bitten by ticks. Skin injury was found in 64.2% of the patients. Samples from 129 cases (68.6%) were collected and detected, with 67.4% of them (87 cases) showed positive by Real time-PCR for SFTS virus. An elevation in antibody titer by a factor of four or evidence of sero-conversion was observed in 11 patients; SFTS virus was isolated from 2 patients. The total antibody positive rates were 3.8%, 55.0% (6/11), 36.7% (2/3) and 80.0% (4/5) respectively in healthy population, dogs, sheep and cows. Ticks from grass, cattle and sheep were detected positive by Real time-PCR.CONCLUSIONMost cases of SFTS in Hubei were infected by SFTS virus, and cases of livestock were infected by SFTS virus. Ticks might serve as an important vector. Skin injury, exposure to tick bites seemed to be the risk factors.