Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Tularemia in Kosovo

17 January 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of 17 January, the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Pristina, has reported 282 suspected cases of tularemia since the outbreak began on 1 November 2001. Fifty-nine of these cases have been laboratory confirmed. There have been no deaths to date. The majority of cases were detected in rural areas, mainly in the Lipjlan, Ferijaz and Pristine municipalities. The patients' age range is between 16-44 years of age.

Tularemia, which is endemic in many parts of the world, including north America, eastern Europe, China, Japan and Scandinavia, is a bacterial disease normally transmitted from animal hosts and has a variety of clinical manifestations. Symptoms include high fever and body aches, swollen glands and difficulty with swallowing, which continue over a period of a couple of weeks.

The investigation of the outbreak continues, and measures for case management, environmental control and health education are in place.

The last outbreak of tularemia in Kosovo occurred in April 2000.

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