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Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Nov;18(11):1811-6. doi: 10.3201/eid1811.120496.

Risk for travel-associated legionnaires' disease, Europe, 2009.

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  • 1European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden.


Legionnaires' disease is underreported in Europe; notification rates differ substantially among countries. Approximately 20% of reported cases are travel-associated. To assess the risk for travel-associated Legionnaires' disease (TALD) associated with travel patterns in European countries, we retrieved TALD surveillance data for 2009 from the European Surveillance System, and tourism denominator data from the Statistical Office of the European Union. Risk (number cases reported/number nights spent) was calculated by travel country. In 2009, the network reported 607 cases among European travelers, possibly associated with 825 accommodation sites in European Union countries. The overall risk associated with travel abroad was 0.3 cases/million nights. We observed an increasing trend in risk from northwestern to southeastern Europe; Greece had the highest risk (1.7). Our findings underscore the need for countries with high TALD risks to improve prevention and control of legionellosis; and for countries with high TALD risks, but low notification rates of Legionnaires' disease to improve diagnostics and reporting.

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