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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018 Oct;99(4):849-851. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0335.

A Large Leptospirosis Outbreak following Successive Severe Floods in Fiji, 2012.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut.
2
Center for Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Health, Suva, Fiji.
3
Leptospirosis Unit, Institut Pasteur in New Caledonia, Noumea, New Caledonia.
4
Forensic and Scientific Service, WHO Leptospirosis Laboratory, Brisbane, Australia.
5
School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
6
Research School of Population Health, Australia National University, Canberra, Australia.
7
Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch, Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
8
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
9
Division of Pacific Technical Support, World Health Organization, Suva, Fiji.

Abstract

Severe flooding has been linked to outbreaks of leptospirosis. Two sequential extreme flood events in Western Fiji caused the largest outbreak of leptospirosis recorded in the South Pacific, with 1,217 total suspected cases, of which 314 were probable and confirmed. Most (83%) cases occurred within 6 weeks of the flood events, displaying a biphasic epidemic curve associated with the floods. Given the temporal proximity of cases to flooding events, most of the transmission appeared to occur during or immediately after the floods; therefore, prevention of exposure to contaminated environments is a priority in the immediate flood and post-flood period. In addition, genotyping studies suggest that multiple animal reservoirs were implicated in the outbreak, reaffirming the importance of integrated human and animal health strategies for leptospirosis control.

PMID:
30141390
PMCID:
PMC6159581
[Available on 2019-10-01]
DOI:
10.4269/ajtmh.18-0335

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