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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Mar 30;61(12):209-11.

Caterpillar-associated rashes in children - Hillsborough County, Florida, 2011.


In March and April 2011, the Hillsborough County Health Department (HCHD) Epidemiology Department (Tampa, Florida) investigated three clusters of rash illness linked to the white-marked tussock moth caterpillar among persons at two child care centers and one elementary school. At least 23 children and one adult were affected; most had direct contact with caterpillars. HCHD provided recommendations on treatment and preventing caterpillar exposure to the three facilities, health-care providers, and local agencies, and through local news media. Child care centers and elementary schools in Hillsborough County previously have experienced caterpillar-associated rash outbreaks in 2004 and 2005. Awareness of this problem, particularly during periods of caterpillar infestation, can minimize morbidity and help to avoid inappropriate diagnoses and treatment by health-care providers.

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