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Emerg Infect Dis. 2009 Nov;15(11):1791-8. doi: 10.3201/eid1511.090677.

Multicenter GeoSentinel analysis of rickettsial diseases in international travelers, 1996-2008.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, NO-0407 Oslo, Norway. mogens.jensenius@ioks.uio.no


We investigated epidemiologic and clinical aspects of rickettsial diseases in 280 international travelers reported to the GeoSentinel surveillance Network during 1996-2008. Of these 280 travelers, 231 (82.5%) had spotted fever (SFG) rickettsiosis, 16 (5.7%) scrub typhus, 11 (3.9%) Q fever, 10 (3.6%) typhus group (TG) rickettsiosis, 7 (2.5%) bartonellosis, 4 (1.4%) indeterminable SFG/TG rickettsiosis, and 1 (0.4%) human granulocytic anaplasmosis. One hundred ninety-seven (87.6%) SFG rickettsiosis cases were acquired in sub-Saharan Africa and were associated with higher age, male gender, travel to southern Africa, late summer season travel, and travel for tourism. More than 90% of patients with rickettsial disease were treated with doxycycline, 43 (15.4%) were hospitalized, and 4 had a complicated course, including 1 fatal case of scrub typhus encephalitis acquired in Thailand.

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