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Eur J Epidemiol. 1996 Apr;12(2):131-4.

Community outbreak of acute respiratory infection by Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health and Health Regulations, University of Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

We present the results of the investigation of an epidemic outbreak of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection which affected 95 schoolchildren from certain village in Catalonia. The investigation took an epidemiological, clinical and microbiological approach, detecting by capture enzyme-immunoassay technique the presence of IgM antibodies against M. pneumoniae. All cases occurred over a 9 week period. The attack rate in children under five was 18% and 8.2% in those from 5-14 years. The age mean and standard deviation of the cases was 5.2 +/- 3.5 years, the range being from 9 months to 14 years. Cough was the most common clinical manifestation (87.4%), followed by fever (67.4%), asthenia (21.1%), abdominal pain (18.9%), vomiting (13.7%), earache (8.4%) and sore throat (6.3%). There was no significant difference in the distribution of symptoms according to age groups. IgM anti M. pneumoniae was positive in 36 (37.9%) of the samples analysed. Treatment chosen in most cases (90) was eritromicin and there was a correct evolution in all cases except for two clinical and radiological recurrences. Hospitalization was only necessary in 5 cases. The present findings are important to emphasize the high incidence of M. pneumoniae respiratory disease in children under 5, and suggests that with respiratory processes affecting very young children, a possible Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection should also be considered and the necessary action taken in the form of early and appropriate treatment.

PMID:
8817190
DOI:
10.1007/bf00145497
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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