Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Epidemiological study on the incidence of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in five Western Balkan countries for a 10-year period: 2006-2015.

Abstract

Background: Large-scale epidemics of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) have been reported mostly in Asia and Europe, with around 100,000 people affected each year. In the Southeast Europe, Balkan region, HFRS is endemic disease with approximately 100 cases per year. Our aim was to describe epidemiological characteristics of HFRS in five Western Balkan (WB) countries and to describe correlation between HFRS incidence and major meteorological event that hit the area in May 2014. Methods: National surveillance data of HFRS from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia obtained from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2015 were collected and analysed. Results: In a 10-year period, a total of 1,065 HFRS patients were reported in five WB countries. Cumulative incidence rate ranged from 0.05 to 15.80 per 100.000 inhabitants (in North Macedonia and Montenegro respectively). Increasing number of HFRS cases was reported with a peak incidence in three specific years (2008, 2012, and 2014). Average incidence for the entire area was higher in males than females (5.63 and 1.90 per 100.000 inhabitants respectively). Summer was the season with the highest number of cases and an average incidence rate of 1.74/100.000 inhabitants across 10-year period. Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome incidence was significantly increased (7.91/100.000 inhabitants) in 2014, when a few months earlier, severe floods affected several WB countries. A strong significant negative correlation (r = -.84, p < .01) between the monthly incidence of HFRS and the number of months after May's floods was demonstrated for the total area of WB. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that the HFRS incidence had similar distribution (general, age, sex and seasonality) across majority of the included countries. Summer was the season with the highest recorded incidence. Common epidemic years were detected in all observed countries as well as a negative correlation between the monthly incidence of HFRS and the number of months after May's cyclone.