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An outbreak of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome linked with mountain recreational activities in Zagreb, Croatia, 2017

  • Z. Lovrić (a1) (a2), B. Kolarić (a3) (a4), M. L. Kosanović Ličina (a5), M. Tomljenović (a2) (a4), O. Đaković Rode (a6), K. Danis (a2) (a7), B. Kaić (a1) and V. Tešić (a4) (a5)...

Abstract

In 2017 Zagreb faced the largest outbreak of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) to date. We investigated to describe the extent of the outbreak and identify risk factors for infection. We compared laboratory-confirmed cases of Hantavirus infection in Zagreb residents with the onset of illness after 1 January 2017, with individually matched controls from the same household or neighbourhood. We calculated adjusted matched odds ratios (amOR) using conditional logistic regression. During 2017, 104 cases were reported: 11–81 years old (median 37) and 71% (73) male. Compared with 104 controls, cases were more likely to report visiting Mount Medvednica (amOR 60, 95% CI 6–597), visiting a forest (amOR 46, 95% CI 4.7–450) and observing rodents (amOR 20, 95% CI 2.6–159). Seventy per cent of cases (73/104) had visited Mount Medvednica prior to infection. Among participants who had visited Mount Medvednica, cases were more likely to have drunk water from a spring (amOR 22, 95% CI 1.9–265), observed rodents (amOR 17, 95% CI 2–144), picked flowers (amOR 15, 95% CI 1.2–182) or cycled (amOR 14, 95% CI 1.6–135). Our study indicated that recreational activity around Mount Medvednica was associated with HFRS. We recommend enhanced surveillance of the recreational areas during an outbreak.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Z. Lovrić, E-mail: zvjezdana.lovric@hzjz.hr

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These authors contributed equally to this paper.

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References

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Epidemiology & Infection
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