Tularemia outbreak associated with outdoor exposure along the western side of Utah Lake, Utah, 2007.

Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Public Health Reports (Impact Factor: 1.42). 01/2010; 125(6):870-6. DOI: 10.2307/41434853
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In 2007, a localized outbreak of tularemia occurred among visitors to a lodge on the western side of Utah Lake, Utah. We assessed risk factors for disease and attempted to identify undiagnosed clinically compatible illnesses.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study by recruiting all people who had visited the lodge on the western side of Utah Lake from June 3 to July 28, 2007. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a sub-cohort of people who were part of an organized group that had at least one tularemia patient. Questions assessed risk and protective factors and disease symptoms.
During the outbreak period, 14 cases of tularemia were reported from five of Utah's 12 health districts. The weekly attack rate ranged from 0 to 2.1/100 lodge visitors from June 3 to July 28. Illness onset dates ranged from June 15 to July 8. The median delay between onset of symptoms and laboratory test for tularemia was 14 days (range: 7-34 days). Cohort study respondents who reported deer-fly bites while at the lodge (adjusted risk ratio [ARR] = 7.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.4, 22.0) and who reported having worn a hat (ARR = 5.6, 95% CI 1.3, 24.6) were more likely to become ill.
This was Utah's second documented deer-fly-associated human tularemia outbreak. People participating in outdoor activities in endemic areas should be aware of disease risks and take precautions. Educational campaigns can aid in earlier disease recognition, reporting, and, consequently, outbreak detection.

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