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Legionnaires’ disease in Europe 2007–2008

Each spring, countries that participate in the European Surveillance Scheme for Travel Associated Legionnaires’ Disease (EWGLINET) are requested to submit their annual dataset of all cases of Legionnaires’ disease in residents of their country with onset of illness in the preceding year. These data have been collected annually since 1994 and are used to analyse epidemiological and microbiological trends within and between countries over time. This paper presents an overview of the data collected for 2007 and 2008. A total of 5,907 cases were reported by 33 countries in 2007 and 5,960 cases by 34 countries in 2008, a similar two-year total to that recorded in 2005 and 2006 [1]. The only countries with a major difference in case numbers between 2007 and 2008 were Russia, due to a large outbreak in 2007, and Italy where cases increased by 256 in 2008 mainly due to an increase in community-acquired infections. The 779 reported deaths give a two-year case fatality rate of 6.6%. Some 243 outbreaks or clusters were detected, 150 of which were linked to travel-associated infections. As in previous years, the overall main method of diagnosis was by urinary antigen detection and the proportion of cases diagnosed by culture remained low at 8.8%, although isolation rates by country ranged from under 1% to over 40%. Euro Surveill. 2010;15(8):pii=19493. Available online: http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=19493

Author: Joseph CA, Ricketts KD

Published: 01/01/2010

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Eurosurveillance