Emergencies preparedness, response

2002 - Tularemia in Kosovo - Update

25 January 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

As of  24 January 2002, the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Pristina, has reported 496 suspected cases of tularemia since the outbreak began on 1 November 2001. One hundred and nine of these cases have been laboratory confirmed. There have been no deaths to date (see previous report).

Measures for case management, environmental control and health education are continuing. WHO Collaborating Centre, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy and the German component of Kosovo Force (K-FOR) are assisting the IPH by providing reagents for diagnostic tests. 

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.