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Scand J Infect Dis. 1999;31(5):427-35.

Epidemiological study of nephropathia epidemica in Finland 1989-96.

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Haartman Institute, Department of Virology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


This study presents data on 33,000 serum samples studied from July 1989 to June 1996 in Finland, with 6,701 serologically confirmed Puumala virus (PUU) infections. In addition, a PUU serosurvey of 8,000 sera from Finland is presented. On average, 957 PUU infections were detected annually, resulting in an incidence of 19/100,000; mortality was less than 0.1%. The infection was most common in the district of Ita-Savo with an incidence of 90/100,000. The seasonal peak was in November-December; however, the urban population had its incidence peak in August. Local epidemics mirrored bank vole densities, with 3-4-y cycles. Males contracted the disease at a mean age of 40 y, females at 44 y (male:female ratio 2:1). The disease was relatively rare in children and elderly people. The nationwide PUU antibody prevalence for women entering Finnish maternity clinics was 3%, suggesting 5% for the total population. The highest prevalences (7% for young women) were encountered in eastern Finland. In the district with the highest clinical alert, approximately 30% of all PUU infections were estimated to lead to clinical disease with serological confirmation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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