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J Emerg Manag. 2015 Sep-Oct;13(5):459-67. doi: 10.5055/jem.2015.0255.

Rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks after flooding disasters: Epidemiology, management, and prevention.

Author information

1
Environmental/Occupational Health, LSU School of Public Health, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To alert clinicians to the climatic conditions that can precipitate outbreaks of the rodent-borne infectious diseases most often associated with flooding disasters, leptospirosis (LS), and the Hantavirus-caused diseases, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS); to describe the epidemiology and presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of these rodent-borne infectious diseases; and to recommend both prophylactic therapies and effective control and prevention strategies for rodent-borne infectious diseases.

DESIGN:

Internet search engines, including Google®, Google Scholar®, Pub Med, Medline, and Ovid, were queried with the key words as search terms to examine the latest scientific articles on rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks in the United States and worldwide to describe the epidemiology and presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of LS and Hantavirus outbreaks.

SETTING:

Not applicable.

PARTICIPANTS:

Not applicable.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks following heavy rainfall and flooding disasters.

RESULTS:

Heavy rainfall encourages excessive wild grass seed production that supports increased outdoor rodent population densities; and flooding forces rodents from their burrows near water sources into the built environment and closer to humans.

CONCLUSIONS:

Healthcare providers should maintain high levels of suspicion for LS in patients developing febrile illnesses after contaminated freshwater exposures following heavy rainfall, flooding, and even freshwater recreational events; and for Hantavirus-caused infectious diseases in patients with hemorrhagic fevers that progress rapidly to respiratory or renal failure following rodent exposures.

PMID:
26537701
DOI:
10.5055/jem.2015.0255
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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