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New and old hotspots for rickettsial spotted fever acquired in Tasmania, 2012-2017

Date

2019-07-03

Authors

Willis, Gabriela
Lodo, Kerryn
McGregor, Alistair
Howes, Faline
Williams, Stephanie
Veitch, Mark

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of Tasmania‐acquired rickettsial disease notified to the Department of Health in Tasmania from 2012 to 2017 inclusive. METHODS: Data on rickettsiosis cases acquired and notified in Tasmania between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2017 were analysed descriptively. RESULTS: Eighteen cases of rickettsial infection notified in Tasmania 2012–17 and likely acquired in the state met one of three case definitions: 12 confirmed (67%), four probable (22%), and two possible (11%). The mean number of cases per year was 3.0 (population rate 0.6 per 100,000 population/year); 60% of cases occurred in November and December. Cases were more commonly older males. Fever, lethargy, and rash were commonly reported symptoms. Thirteen cases were likely acquired on Flinders Island, three around Great Oyster Bay and two in the Midlands. CONCLUSIONS: This study extends our knowledge of the epidemiology of rickettsial disease in Tasmania. This is the first account including confirmed cases acquired in the Midlands of Tasmania. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Increased knowledge and awareness of epidemiology of rickettsial infection in Tasmania is essential for timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. These findings bear wider relevance outside Tasmania because visitors may also be at risk.

Description

Keywords

Rickettsia, infectious diseases, epidemiology, surveillance, Flinders Island spotted fever

Citation

Source

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

Open Access

License Rights

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

DOI

10.1111/1753-6405.12918

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